A Michigan man who read his wife’s e-mails on their joint computer is facing jail time after his wife found out and pressed charges against him.
Now he’s headed to trial on felony computer misuse charges.
The 33-year-old had suspected his wife Clara, who had been married twice before was having an affair with her former husband so he did what any other suspicious spouse would do… he snooped!
Walker is alleged to have used his computer skills to gain access to her Gmail email account on the home computer he shared with his wife. Upon gaining access to her account, Mr Walker discovered a series of emails which confirmed his suspicions that his wife was indeed cheating on him.
Clara Walker filed for a divorce, which was granted this month.Walker has been charged under anti-hacking laws aimed at preventing identity theft in the US.
With nearly half US divorce cases involving some form of privacy invasion such as the reading of text messages or social networking web pages, the case could have significant legal repercussions.
As her second husband had previously been arrested for beating her in front of her son, Walker handed the emails over to the boy’s father. The concerned father, Clara’s first husband, sought sole custody of the boy and was forced into revealing that it was Walker, who had leaked him the emails.
The wife went to authorities and pressed charges after she found out her emails had been read without her permission. She later split up from Walker and the couple were divorced earlier this month, when he was arrested for hacking.
Prosecutors in Oakland County, Michigan, charged Walker under the state’s anti-hacking laws which were aimed at stopping identity theft and used to prosecute people who hack into Government computers.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper dismissed Walker’s claims that he had used his wife’s password to log on to the computer, saying that Walker was nothing but a “hacker” who used his skills as a computer technician to gain access to his wife’s email account.
“It was password protected, he had wonderful skills, and was highly trained. Then he downloaded them and used them in a very contentious way,” she said.
Walker said he had become suspicious of his wife after she failed to return home one night. He claimed he and his wife shared a laptop which he had bought after their marriage and maintained she often left the password to her email account lying around the house they shared in Rochester Hills.
Walker said he was worried as his wife was taking their one year old daughter to stay with her violent ex husband.
“I started putting more thought into it, and thought she was very likely taking our daughter over to the guy’s house,” Walker said.
“So I said to myself, I bet you I can confirm that by reading her email. She kept very simple passwords and she left them in notes and books throughout the house.”
He added: “I was doing what I had to do. We’re talking about putting a child in danger.”
Walker, who works as an IT technician for Oakland County, denied that he had hacked into the account. He is due to go on trial in February and could face a maximum of five years in jail if convicted.
Leon Walker has since vowed to fight the charges and is preparing for the February trial.
Ummmm yeah. I have so much to say on this topic but due to the fact that I may incriminate myself, I’ll just keep them to myself. But I will say this… there’s a whole lotta snooping wives/husbands/significant others out there who could possibly face the same fate. Going to jail over snooping just ain’t it.
All 50 states have anti-hacking laws. But those laws are generally applied against people who hack into a company’s website, or that of some public or private institution, to damage a network or to steal something of tangible value.
So the question is… should these laws also be used in more personal instances like the Walker case?