UPDATE: An earlier version of this story erroneously contained a photo of MIT President Rafael Reif. The Inquisitr regrets the error.
Stephen Heymann is under heavy criticism for his prosecution of Reddit c0-founder Aaron Swartz that many saw as unfair, and that heat has intensified in the wake of Swartz’s suicide this weekend.
It’s been uncovered that in 2008 Heymann spearheaded another case against a hacker, Jonathan James, the first minor to be taken into custody for a federal cybercrime case. After Secret Service agents raided his house in conjunction with an investigation led by Stephen Heymann, James was found dead in his home.
In a suicide note, James said his decision was in response to the investigation into a crime he said he didn’t commit.
“I have no faith in the ‘justice’ system. Perhaps my actions today, and this letter, will send a stronger message to the public. Either way, I have lost control over this situation and this is my only way to regain control.
“Remember, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether I win or lose, and sitting in jail for 20, 10, or even 5 years for a crime I didn’t commit is not me winning. I die free.”
In the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, Stephen Heymann alleged that the Internet freedom activist committed theft from JSTOR, a digital archive used by universities and other research institutions. He had accessed JSTOR through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology library, but JSTOR had refused to press charges and even urged the US government to drop the case.
Swartz’s attorney Elliot Peters told the Huffington Post that Stephen Heymann was only pursuing the charges against Aaron Swartz to gain publicity. Peters said Heyman was trying to find “some juicy looking computer crime cases and Aaron’s case, sadly for Aaron, fit the bill. He thought he was going to receive press and he was going to be a tough guy and read his name in the newspaper.”