Man accused of Children's cyber attack speaks out

Man accused of Children's cyber attack speaks out

SOMMERVILLE, Mass. — The wife of the man accused of a cyber-attack on Boston Children’s Hospital says her husband tried many other routes before the attack.

The Boston Children's Hospital website was taken out by the hacker group Anonymous because of a controversial child custody case.

In 2013, teenager Justina Pelletier went to see a doctor at Boston Children's who had previously treated her at Tufts for her Mitochondrial Disease. Family lawyers told FOX25 she never saw that doctor, but instead was treated by a different set of doctors, who thought the symptoms were due to psychological stress from abusive parents. The family said Justina was removed from their custody by the hospital and the State of Massachusetts.

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This sparked protests and eventually an attack on the hospital's website.

Thirty-two-year-old activist named Martin Gottesfeld faces felony charges for the cyber-attack. He was arrested earlier this year after being picked up from a rowboat near Cuba. He is being held at a federal detention center in Rhode Island

At the Somerville home he shares with his wife, Dana Gottesfeld, spoke to FOX25.

Martin Gottesfeld, a self-taught computer genius, admits he carried out the hack in defense of then 15-year-old Justina Pelletier.

“It’s kind of like, if you see somebody getting stabbed in an alley, or about to be stabbed in an alley, you could post that to Facebook and ask the person nicely not to stab the person, but is that an appropriate action in that case?” said Martin Gottesfeld in a phone interview with FOX25.

The case garnered national media attention as the public learned her parents were only allowed limited supervised visits. Family lawyers said that during part of the time Justina was in the hospital, she was locked in a psychiatric ward.

“The way things get submitted from reality to what's getting portrayed in the media makes it sound like he didn’t try every single thing beforehand,” Dana Gottesfeld told FOX25.

Martin Gottesfeld told FOX25 he felt like he had no other choice and he would do it all over again.

“I can tell you that it dissuaded Boston Children’s Hospital from ever doing something like this again,” Gottesfeld told FOX25.

The Pelletier family has filed a lawsuit against Children’s civil rights violations and medical malpractice.