SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County prosecutors Friday dismissed a case against a 20-year-old man who was accused of illegally hacking into student Google Classroom accounts to post racist and homophobic photos, videos and comments in classes at his former high school.
Prosecutors dismissed a felony count of disrupting or denying government computer service with a sentencing enhancement for the commission of a hate crime in concert against Aaron Jack Ketelaar, according to court records. A spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a message seeking further details.
Ketelaar was charged in December 2021 of hacking into several accounts at Villa Park High School on Dec. 18, 2020, and posting racist photos and comments in the class announcement section, which were viewable by the teacher and students in that class, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Ketelaar was also accused of hacking a student account and interrupting two classes with a video of a person wearing a skull mask, sunglasses, beanie and headset using racial epithets.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department School Mobile Assessment and Resource Team and the Orange Unified School District investigated the matter after the hacked posts were reported in January 2021. Ketelaar was identified by investigators as having accessed the students’ accounts when the images, comments and videos were being posted.