Man reads wife’s email, now faces five years in prison

John Moe Dec 27, 2010

Leon Walker snooped in his wife’s Gmail account – used her password, logged on and started reading. From the Detroit Free Press:

Leon Walker was Clara Walker’s third husband. Her e-mail showed she was having an affair with her second husband, a man who once had been arrested for beating her in front of her small son. Leon Walker, worried that the child might be exposed to domestic violence again, handed the e-mails over to the child’s father, Clara Walker’s first husband. He promptly filed an emergency motion to obtain custody.

Now, they’re divorced, and Clara is bringing him to court for a criminal – not civic – case in which his actions could fall under a hacking statute that’s generally used for identity theft. But, Leon claims this was a family computer and Clara kept a book of her passwords right next to the computer. He says he used the computer all the time. Some defense attorneys say if Leon can be charged under this statute, parents who check their kids’ Facebook accounts are vulnerable, too.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.