Man Accused In Hospital Computer Hack Wages Hunger Strike

A man who acknowledges he attacked the computer network at world-renowned Boston Children’s Hospital two years ago, costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars, is waging a hunger strike in prison as he awaits trial.

Martin Gottesfeld said his 3-week-old hunger strike was meant to bring attention to the treatment of troubled youths in institutions and the “political prosecutions” by prosecutors he considers overzealous, including U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Massachusetts.

In U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Gottesfeld pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and intentionally causing damage to protected computers. After the hearing, as he got up from his chair, he fell to the floor. A nurse was called, a wheelchair was brought in and spectators were cleared from the courtroom.

Gottesfeld’s wife, Dana Gottesfeld, said it was the 23rd day of his hunger strike. His attorney, Tor Ekeland, said his fall may have been the result of weakness from his hunger strike and the leg shackles he wore in court.

Dana Gottesfeld said her husband is fighting for what he believes are human rights violations inside institutions that treat troubled teenagers, including drug rehabilitation facilities, hospital psychiatric wards, residential treatment centers and boot camps.

Gottesfeld has said he orchestrated the attack on the hospital and a related attack on the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, a Framingham residential treatment facility, to protest the treatment of Connecticut teenager Justina Pelletier.

Justina was at the center of a custody dispute following conflicting medical diagnoses. Tufts Medical Center in Boston had treated her for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production. Boston Children’s Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

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Man accused in hospital computer hack wages hunger strike
Man accused in hospital computer hack wages hunger strike
Man accused in hospital computer hack wages hunger strike