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Leon Walker  (Source: CBS News)
Leon Walker goes to trial February 7

A Michigan man is going to trial for a felony charge after logging onto his now ex-wife's Gmail account and reading her emails, where he found that she was cheating on him. 

Leon Walker, 33, a resident of Rochester Hills, Michigan and computer technician with Oakland County, could be sentenced up to five years in prison for a felony computer misuse charge, which is an Internet law made to protect against identity theft and stealing of trade secrets. 

Walker logged on to a laptop that both he and his then-wife, Clara Walker, had shared. Her password was supposedly saved in the Gmail login. What Walker had found was that Clara was allegedly cheating on him with a previous husband.

Clara was married twice before marrying Walker. The emails Walker found suggested that Clara was having an affair with her second husband, who was arrested at an earlier time for beating Clara in front of her son from her first marriage. 

In an attempt to avoid any more possible domestic violence, and to protect the child from having to witness or be apart of it, Walker printed the emails and gave them to Clara's first husband. He then filed an emergency motion to obtain custody of the child. 

In February 2009, Walker was arrested for giving Clara's first husband the emails. Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper decided to charge Walker, calling him a skilled "hacker" who obtained the emails in a "contentious way."

"I was doing what I had to do," said Walker in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. "We're talking about putting a child in danger."

Walker has been out on bond since "shortly after his arrest." His divorce with Clara was final earlier this month, and he is now facing a trial for the felony computer misuse charge on Feb. 7. 

According to Leon Weiss, who represents Walker in the felony computer misuse case, Walker is being wrongly charged, since this Internet law is meant to specifically target those who hack government computers. 

"If the Michigan legislature had wanted to prohibit one spouse living under the same roof, with a shared computer, from reading a spouse's email, they could have constructed the statute to prohibit that," said Weiss during an interview with the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. "There is no real expectation of privacy in email. It's too out there."

Clara's representative during the divorce proceedings, Michael McCulloch, refused to comment on the felony charges against Walker.

Frederick Lane, an electronic privacy expert, reported to the Detroit Free Press that this whole case is a "legal grey area," and that Walker may have a chance at a good outcome since the laptop was shared.

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RE: What the....
By SiliconJon on 12/28/2010 12:30:59 PM , Rating: 5
Is marriage not the UNION of two into one? So would it also be a felony to crack your own password? Egads...

RE: What the....
By Ragingbull36 on 12/28/2010 12:39:18 PM , Rating: 5
Its only a Union when it benefits the lesser half. The wife probably got half his retirement after she cheated on him and then sent him off to hang in this BS charge. Ya im bitter and have had it done to me and seen it done countless times. Not saying it doesn’t happen to women about 5 percent of the time.

RE: What the....
By Hiawa23 on 12/28/2010 1:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Take out the cheating part but if the law is misuse then he violated the law, based on the info we have. Either he will be found guilty or it will get thrown out. Seems like for most bad things come from marriage, especially when it goes sour which is why I don't believe in it at all.

RE: What the....
By Lerianis on 12/28/2010 2:02:41 PM , Rating: 5
True. I agree about marriage and the misuse of the law in question here, but a judge can easily say "Hey, it was not meant to apply in this case!" and amend the law by judicial decision/interpretation of the law.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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