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December 29th, 2010
08:25 AM ET

Man Charged with Reading Wife's Email

When speaking of marriage, most people remember the infamous quote, "What's yours is mine and what's mine is yours", that seems to hold true, EXCEPT for personal emails! Leon Walker of Rochester Hills, Michigan is facing felony charges for reading the emails of his then spouse, Claire Walker.

While the couple were in the middle of a divorce, Walker discovered by reading his wife's emails, that she was having an affair with her second husband who was said to be abusive. The couple was indeed living together when he decided to do his "research" within the email of his wife on their shared home computer. When Leon Walker found out this information, he informed his wife's first husband for the safety of the children that were involved in both marriages. The men deemed it necessary to then go to the courts with this information.

It was said that once the emails were given to the courts, Claire notified the police, and now Leon Walker is being charged with a five-year felony by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office. Walker was outraged by the prosecutor's decision to press charges for him simply protecting his children.

The couple is now divorced, and Walker will go to trial in February.

What are your thoughts? Should it be illegal to read your spouse’s email? Some of your thoughts will be shared in the 10 o'clock hour.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Aroot

    This is totally absurb. It was available to him. Her fault. Any person would run with this info. If it was the opposite, would it have been ok, for her to do it? Really sucks our laws really stupid at times, along with the ignorant lawyers who play the game.

    December 29, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  2. Elsa

    I agree that it should be illegal to read a spouse's email unless authorized to do so.

    December 29, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  3. JP Peretti

    Why didn't the cheating wife change her email password?

    December 29, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  4. charly

    No, one should not have laws so easily subject to abuse. Many spouses share passwords for convenience, as apparently the Walker's did during better times in their marriage. One can easily turn around after the fact and say they didn't authorize it and it is then a matter of who one believes.

    In fact this would have to be the easiest route to having a spouse you have tired of thrown in jail – just get them to read your email and then run to the police. Cheaters would be pulling this one continually.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  5. Kathy

    She gave him her password. She should have changed it if she didn't want him to read her emails.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  6. D. Gross

    Another intrusion into personal business this time by the legal systerm. How many parents look at emails from their children. Also to protect their children. This case will not fly.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  7. Elaine

    The only thing to find out is: did the man knew his wife's password because she had shared it with him before? If that's the case, I don't see it as illegal access.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  8. Aaron B

    I don't think he should go to jail at all. If the wife previously gave him the password then he didn't hack anything. The wife should have been smart enough to change her password if she no longer wanted him to be able to access her email.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  9. Beth

    Yes, it should be illegal. I had the same thing happen to me because my husband knew the answer to my security question, so he changed my password and accessed all of my emails. Several months prior to his hacking, I told him that I wanted a divorce and he agreed that we could live together as friends for our childrens' sake and see other people. I then was with someone else and he couldn't handle it and claimed that he didn't really mean it when he said we could see other people. To get back at me, he forwarded my private emails to his family members and to my parents. He also verbally assaulted me for over 8 months, punched walls, broke his finger, locked me out of the house, and knocked me to the ground and threw me into walls, He didn't think it was abuse as long as he wasn't punching me with his fist. Anytime he felt threatened from June-November, he'd also take the computers out of our house, disconnect the internet, and take my cellphone away. He harassed my girlfriend and several other people who were communicating with me until they were so afraid that their communications would set him off that they stopped talking to me out of fear for my safety. Then, he slept with another woman, but somehow when he did it, it was all perfectly okay in his mind because I had been with someone first. He has continued with this relatiionship with this other woman. I'm okay with it, but frustrated by the hypocrisy that he can't see. We're going to be separating soon and can't live together for the kids' sake as I had hoped because he can't handle me seeing anyone even though he's seeing someone else.

    It's all about control, jealousy, and revenge and he has even admitted this to me. I'm pretty sure that's what it's about for this gentleman, as well, and less about the safety of the children involved.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  10. Howard Flysher

    The government can read anybodies email without an order but a husband has no rights to protect himself or children. If that is not Nazi Germany what is?
    It seems a bit disconnect to the rights of citizens I don't know what is?

    December 29, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  11. brandon

    There is a small amount of privacy each person is entitled too. I believe he motivated by confirming the affair, as opposed to his childs safety. The precedence must be set, to stay out of anyones personal information world, its just not yours.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  12. Drew

    I don't think that he should be reading the e-mails of his wife while they are in the middle of a divorce, but, a 5 year year felony? That's outrageous! I live in Oakland County Michigan and I know that our tax dollars can be spent in a much more productive way.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  13. Precious

    Why should it be wrong now that they are divorcing?When she knew she was going through divorce with him,why didn't she change her password?I don't think the man is wrong because he had the password.It was a different issue if he had no consent to the password.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  14. jack_v_p

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen done by the government.
    How much is this foolishness going to cost the tax payers ?
    As far as I am concerned, when people become married then they agree to share things, and that includes email.
    What's next, they are going to charge a husband / wife with theft for withdrawing money from their spouses bank account ?
    There are some things the authorities have no business putting their nose in !!!

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  15. Kristen

    I think its a breach of privacy clearly! However, I do NOT feel this man should go to jail! It seems this woman doesn't have a history of putting her children first, so he needs to go to jail for showing concern over his child? Yes there should be some repercussion for this man; however sending him to jail over this instance seems like sending a middle schooler to jail for stealing from a classmates lunchbox, for that would be theft correct? Thousands of people use other's facebook accounts each day. Are all of these people going to be sent to jail for hacking too?

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  16. Chris

    I know that I personally did this same thing, and I did it in the state of MI. Point to be taken is that had I not I would have not known that my girlfriend slept with someone in my own bed, or that she was cheating on me for months. I bided my time until I could get out of the house.... ie monetary funds and a place to go.

    seriously hearing the excuses and watching the deceit is pretty shameful when you know the whole truth, but had I not known I would have been fat dumb and happy until she dumped on me...

    also this was on my computer as well

    December 29, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  17. markl

    She gave him the password, therefore there was no hacking of her email account. I have no idea how they think they can convict him based on that. The onus was on her to change her password which obviuosly she neglected to do ── her problem, at least under the law they are using here.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  18. james

    when you are married you are spiritually bound to act as one. I personally am completely open with my email, and i believe if you have nothing to hide that is how it should be. If your relationship is not that open, i would be asking my spouse and myself serious relationship questions.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  19. Jane Fulton

    A marriage should be a trusting relationship as well as a loving one. The only time I would not want my husband to read my e-mail is if I ordered a gift for him & there were e-mail confirmation that would give away the surprise! The woman is wrong for cheating on her husband and the current husband should not serve one day in jail for looking at his wife's e-mail.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  20. John D

    Since people who read this judge on technicalities, if I was the defense attorney, I would simply argue that email is intellectual property. Because of the marriage, it should also qualify as COMMUNITY PROPERTY and therefore be JOINTLY OWNED.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  21. LIllian Lopez

    I wonder if he would have used a legally purchased spyware program would he be in the predicament he is in now. If she shared her password with him and forgot to change it when the relationship went astray then it was her negligence.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  22. Randy Gossett

    Throw the book at this guy. He was acting in his own self interest. He turned over email to someone else. He could have told the 1st husband, and left it at that. He did not seek protection first, and cannot stand behind that story, when it was not his first action.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  23. Diana

    I think it was wrong for him to read the email. But she gave him the email adress and password so it should be there problem as a couple. I agree it should be illegal but at the same time, it is the spouse's falt. Don't give anyone your and password.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  24. martin amakoye from lowell M.A

    charging this guy will lead to so many people cheating on their spouses through the mail knowing that their privacy is protected by the law. what ever happened to 'the two shall become one'? why the secrets? why do have a feeling that the law here is trying to complicate the institution of marriage yet it should protect it. they have better things to take care of than husband reading the wife's e-mail. i find i so bad

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  25. Kay

    This is absurd. Talk about bogging the courts down with frivolous lawsuits. So he is being punished for being a concerned parent? If she (the ex-wife) did not want him reading her email (after giving him access), guess she should have changed her password!

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  26. Kris

    I don't agree. When you get married you agree to share your life. You share phone bills, credit cards, a mortgage...and various other tangible property. You don't get arrested for reading your spouses mail from your mailbox. If your spouse is cheating on you, you have a right to know because it not only affects your life but if there are minor children involved it affects them too. Isn't there an adultery statute on the books too? Cheating creates an aura of distrust. You can't blame the man for an attempt to find out what is true when he is living with a liar.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  27. Justin

    On one hand, I think its totally ridiculous he's being charged with this. He didn't 'hack' anything. Willingly giving someone else your password is stupid, and regardless of the level of trust should never be done. On the other hand, its realistically quite simple to steal passwords and usernames if you've got some black hat hacking motives so we don't know how he came in posession of them. The media always blows cyber crimes out of proportion though, so who knows how this case will go.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  28. jazzeene

    So, about year ago I created an email account for my boyfriend of ten years. I created the name and password. I do not go into his emails, but if I needed to I would. Would I be able to sue my boyfriend if we broke up and he continued to use the account without my permission? Where do we come up with these laws?

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  29. Shelley Renaud

    If you have nothing to hide, hide nothing!!!! So are you telling me when your married you can't open each other's mail or you go to jail? Our legal system is a joke, priorities people! It's not criminal, it's evidence!!!!

    December 29, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  30. Keys

    If she gave her husband her password then that proves she gave him permission to view her email. If she had changed her mind she should have changed her password. Evidently her husband was concerned for his child due to the mothers lack of good judgement.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  31. Vickie@Chicago

    I am absloutely in support of this ignorant fool who feels he has the right to snoop into his wife's email,he needs to serve jail time. Hopefully other stupid fools like him will learn a big lesson.
    We never know why she chooses to it but for ever reason what is good for the goose is also good for the gender...

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  32. Subman

    The way I look at is if the spouse has nothing to hide then there is no problem. That's what a marriage is right having trust in your spouse and no hiding anything from them that's why they are your spouse. If they need to hide something then maybe they shouldn't be your spouse any more. I think that marriage should have a time limit and should need to be renewed if both people want to every 2 years or so and not have divorce at all. That would solve a lot.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  33. Rebecca

    What is the big deal? When you say " I do," you basically relinquish your rights to privacy. And if you or your partner has anything to hide, then that should be a red flag. And how is it hacking, if your partner has already given you the password before? This is just ridiculous.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  34. concerned father

    i think if the man was legitimately concerned about his daughter and the child of the first husban, then he was most certainly in the rite,but if it was just for personal fullfillment of his own selfish needs or jeolousy then he had no rite logging onto his wifes personal email page .......

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  35. Ron in WA

    She should be charged with adultery and child endangerment. He should be applauded for looking out for his family. Hacking? Into one’s own computer? Especially since he already had the password.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  36. Daryol

    I think Ultimately what people are missing with this whole thing is that email is intellectual property. Unless it is stored on the "shared" computer through a program such as outlook then he has to log into an off site server to retrieve those messages. So access terminal is not important. or even relevant. HE THEN SHARED the information that he found with a second source there by granting access to the intellectual property to someone not of the household. Then took the information of his activities to the local authorities. HECK if you can go to jail for receiving stolen property then this is the same thing... is it not?

    December 29, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  37. Warren Fuller

    If my wife leaves an opened letter out on the kitchen table and I pick it up and read it, am I guilty of anything ... absolutely NOT. Was Claire's email encrypted and did he break the encryption? This was a shared computer, just like my kitchen table. The prosecutor for this issue needs to "Get A Life".

    December 29, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  38. Christopher Rumfield

    I see no expectation of privacy in a marriage ESPECIALLY when the husband knows the password. It is a frivolous lawsuit. Today, it seems there is no expectation to privacy in any way. It is our global environment. Spying is common.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  39. Dave Tofflemire

    If the password was in an open location, known to both spouses, then Mrs. Walker has no legal expectation of privacy regarding her e-mail. If, however, Mr. Walker "discovered" the password through nefarious means, then unfortunately, he could be held legally liable.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  40. Rafael

    Well, first we should determine if a marriage is just a legal agreement between wife and husband, or creates Family. Keep in your minds that a Family stands for the closest people ever, therefore should not have secrets kept.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  41. Pamela Seina

    We teach our children that EVERYTHING posted e-mail, Facebook etc is PUBLIC DOMAIN. If people want privacy they should use regular mail or a land line telephone. I believe everyone's mind set should be that anything they post on line is public domain so never write anything yo don't want to see on the front page of every newspaper in the country.

    December 29, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  42. Judy

    What about the law in MIchigan that makes adultery a felony? What's mine is yours when you are married. How could he "hack" into his own computer?. This is an adulteress trying to justify what she did, which was break her marriage vows. I don't know the background of the husband, but we all know she is on her 3rd marriage. Seems like a pattern here, could she be a 2x adulteress? Men in Oakland County, Michigan beware of this woman!!!

    December 29, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  43. Gaye L.Gill

    This man is noble! He has every right to monitor what goes on in his house. If the roles were reversed he would be going to court and forced to pay spousal support to this hooker.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  44. david henry

    Lets look at this his wife was cheating yes she should be chargred with adultry then no i dont thing this law should be on the books 5years for reading on his computer that is a shame now if the woman did this she would be praised for catching him but no woman has the law on their side for everything men dont do away with this law its not good for us i can see if it was just gi8rl friend or boyfriend but they were married so no crime come on michigan

    December 29, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  45. Angela Tacoma Washington

    If in a marriage, in most states, even in divorce what yours is mine and what mine is yours. If you are doing the right thing all the time, there is never a reason to hide,control,or feel invaded in a marriage. I have been married for over 25 years,I have my husbands emails,face book, personal accounts passwords, and sign on computer info and he has mine. I am not saying this will forever make him guiltless however less likely.She is simply guilty of cheating and is pissed that her secret was not really a secret, seems like to me, her problems run deeper than a password... and most wise men should simply "pass" her up...

    December 29, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  46. Bill

    To me, this is a simple case of the wife not trying smartly enough to keep her affair secret from her husband. All she needed was a secondary email account on another web provider her husband doesn't frequent. Nobody knows except her and her lover.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  47. Michele Markant

    It should absolutely be illegal. My husband installed spy ware on our home computer and was able to access both my email accounts. One of which is with the University that I work for.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  48. marcus

    Have we forgotten that in marriage the two become one? In marriage there should be no secrets. With secrets come lies, guilt and shame when discovered. If you want to live a secret life don't marry or get a divorce. He should be suing for divorce based on her adulterous acts. Instead he is facing up to 5 years, come on, get real. Government is getting to involved in our homes and family. Wake up America!

    December 29, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  49. Benjamin

    Married couples share so much these days from bank accounts to credit card, even cell phone service. Even though email is suppose to be private, you should not type what you don't want seen. I believe it should not be illigal to read your "wifes" emails, but I do believe in respecting her privacy. However, in this case, the man suspected something and did just what I would do, checked the email records for confirmation. He had the safety of the child in mind and I respect that.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  50. Kelsey

    A password is like a key. The wife gave her husband the key to her account so he committed no crime. If he was given the password rightfully, he was not breaking & entering - just entering. If she wanted her e-mails to remain private she should have changed her password.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  51. James Rich

    This is another example of our failing court system. 5 year sentence for reading your spouse’s email is a ridiculous sentence. If the couple was married at the time when the emails were read and the spouse provided the password, then the husband has not committed a crime. My wife has provided her password to her email account and I have read some of her emails. Should I go to prison for 5 years?? If the spouse wanted to keep her cheating secret, then she should have changed the password to her account. The real issue here is the cheating spouse which has lead to a their divorce.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  52. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Since when did internet mail become a part of the united states postal system enforcing federal laws on tampering with internet mail the government should first put in place laws on the internet before charging people with a crime the ex husband is stocking his ex wife and should be charged with that .

    December 29, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  53. Alan

    I think it is about time that the we stop protecting the wrong doers of this world and giving them more tools and laws to hide behind. I think the husband should seriously consider suing her for breaking her oath she gave at their wedding (be it her third time!!) and signing papers to that effect. This world is going crazy with protecting rights for a lot of wrong reasons. The husband (or the wife in another relationship) has rights too. Just ridiculous and a waste of courts time.....

    December 29, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  54. Jocelyn

    You shouldn't marry someone if you have no intention of sharing your life with them. They were technically still married and sharing a house, I believe he had every right to use their computer and if she shared her password, why wouldn't he have the right to check her email. Especially if a childs safety is in question.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  55. James Rich

    This is another example of our failing court system. 5 year sentence for reading your spouse’s email is a ridiculous sentence. If the couple was married at the time when the emails were read and the spouse provided the password, then the husband has not committed a crime. My wife has provided her password to her email account and I have read some of her emails. Should I go to prison for 5 years?? If the spouse wanted to keep her cheating secret, then she should have changed the password to her account. The real issue here is the cheating spouse, which has lead to their divorce.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  56. christoperReeves

    The wife cannot possibly retain interest in messages sent via computer considering the proprietory interest that Microsoft and IT developers maintain, especially as pertains to the EULA and consumer use of the product. To charge this man is essentially to charge Microsoft everytime a backdoor was acessed and damages incurred; as well it is to charge the federal government everytime that "NON-SPECIFIED information (information not named on a warrant)" is used to issue an arrest warrant thus circumventing the 4th Amendment.
    The problem is that the authorities are still trying to police the lower and middle class for money and their is none to be procured. The violent backlash upon Law Enforcement Personal is expected, merited, and justified. They have used brute force to extort money from the population at large, and now there is none to be extorted – yet they persist.
    It is vey sad forhave been the most misled. They will sadly lose the supposrt of those conceding their authority; as they have already lost the trust of the public they originated from and are sworn to protect. We have not been protected – we have been harassed. They will publically re-allign and denounce their current cause or they will DISSIST! Its just what happens in this type scenario and nothing will prevent it. REALLIGN or be not and never misled.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  57. Rakim EL-Amin

    It is apparent that the suspicious activity went on for some time, however,what`s alarming is that the wife was able to pacify the prosecutor`s office with:" Please help me,I`m guilty of the crime of adultery...but my husband caught me by way of the email account I gave him access to?".

    December 29, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  58. Sas

    No. I do not think he should be charged and think this is rediculous. (a) He was protecting his children.(b) If she had something to hide (which doesn't make it right in my book) she should change her password, security question, etc or her e-mail.
    My husband and I have no secrets. I don't care if he reads my e-mail and nor does he care if I read his. It's not something we do on a regular basis but sometimes I have to get into his inbox to get info for bills, etc. and visa versa. No biggy here and I could care less. We also know each others facebook passwords. We have a very good marriage and a world of trust. If something were to come up in an e-mail that may appear to be an issue, we would deal with it and move on.
    Our laws are out of control in this country. What ever happened to a little common sense in the judicial system?

    December 29, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  59. keith

    when you get married you become one ,let mo man come between that or no goverment .now let that man know he can sue the other man for what he has done to that family and get that dog some help thats the reason why so many men are in jail now . trying to take care of dogs like that. a dirty snake. back off goverment this one is not for you.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  60. Tim Cunningham

    This could be looked at as a double edged sword. If you don't have anything to hide whats the the big deal? On the other hand, it's like snail mail. If it is not addressed to you, don't open it!

    December 29, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  61. Rita Lee

    What is this world coming to?? Marriage is where "two people become one". She shouldn't have been cheating on him in the first place, but he had every right to go into their HOME computer and read her e-mails to confirm his suspicions. Hopefully he lives in a state where he can sue her for alienation of affection (which is just as silly as this lawsuit is) and she will end up paying for her mistakes. I hope he doesn't have to go to jail for this. People really need to listen to their wedding vows when they are saying them. Geez!!

    December 29, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  62. Daniel Faijue

    I thing the judge should be ask to define the word "Mariage". I personally believe that two becomes one when they enter into a legal contract. In such a case, everything that belongs to one partner belongs to the other. Secondly, there is no criminal offense committed by this young man. Firstly according to him, his wife knowing that they both share everything, give him her password allowing him to read her mail. So, did he steal the password? This case does not worth being in court and therefore should be dismiss. If the jury comes down with a guilty virdict, he should take an appeal.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  63. Vicki Flaherty

    Yes, it should absolutely be as illegal to read your spouses e-mail without ther permission as it is to violate them in other illegal ways.
    Any invasion of one's privacy, whether married or not ,I consider an illegal step and should be punished my State/ Fed Laws that regulate them.
    To me it is the same as a audio or video recording another without there knowledge.
    Unless it is life-threatening , it shouldn't happen or be considered legal.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  64. Angela Tacoma Washington

    @Beth... Really? A plea for sympathy? Walk away... Seems like to me there are children involved,you were still married... that was once an agreement too a legal one. The children should be your first priority, not the new boyfriend who has no respect for you your husband or children, or your home he would not be with a married woman... Plain and simple. Move out, Pay your own bills, and email to your hearts content... you are not helping the children,don't use them as an excuse.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  65. beenthere

    This is totally ridiculous. People will go to court to jump into someone else's finances that they knew nothing about to try and get money that they say BELONGS to them, but then say that it's illegal for a husband or wife to check a spouse's email when they feel that their spouse may be having an affair? My husband checked my email – and found out that I was having an affair. It was the best thing that could have happened for the both of us. It was a lie I had kept for too long, and to be honest with you, it was killing me. If he had chosen to divorce me and take my son with him which very well could have happened, this is a consequence of infidelity that I would have had to accept. Emails are for corresponding with friends, business, and keeping in touch with people who are at a long distance. They are not for destorying marriages and keeping secrets. If you don't want a spouse reading your email, then quite simply, you have something to hide.

    December 29, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  66. Ann

    I am a certified family law specialist, and I will tell you that at continuing education seminar for the past few years, divorce lawyers are routinely advised that it is illegal for clients to read their spouse's password protected e-mails or searching through their spouse's computer, cell phone, etc. This is nothing new.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  67. John Moore

    Isn't it accepted that in a legal marriage there is joint ownership? No way can a spouse not be able to know what a spouse is up to unless there is a restraining order due to abuse or similar problem.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  68. John Moore

    Just thinking that no one ever thought it was wrong for Tiger Wood's wife to check his phone. Something is wrong in Michigan, remember the prosecutor that was hounding the gay college student.

    December 29, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  69. Lynette Courtney

    I think this is insane. This man was attempting to protect his children and the children of the first marriage. This is admirable. I am a wife of 31 years and while my husband doesn't pawn through my emails nor do I go through his, we have absolutely nothing to hide from one another.

    I think a person should certainly be allowed to have their privacy maintained but if I suspected my spouse of an affair or abuse or illegal activity, I would certainly do my own investigating.

    They were no longer together, the computer is in HIS possession and it's contents as well. If she didn't want her email read she should have deleted it and changed her passwords as to protect her privacy.

    Just ridiculous that he would be charged, absolutely INSANE!

    December 29, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  70. Chris

    The prosecutor must be out of her mind. I caught my wife cheathing I did the same thing,she left her password by the computer. I also checked her cell phone.

    Thank God I live in Texas

    December 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  71. B Smart

    Ignorance, the powers of authority play on yours.

    "Should", was the word that most preceded those who objected to the husbands actions. His action were in no-way illegal.

    In certain situations, we require the law to allow a person to act in accordance with the facts on the basis of the first person's behavior.

    Too in marriage, don't you assume responsibility for a legal expectation of exclusivity with regard to affection, ethical conduct and treatment?

    Seriously folks, to allow the far reaching claim of "Identity theft" to this case is ignorance. It seems clear, this prosecutor wants to play a hand, betting mostly on the ambiguous moralities of our times.

    December 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  72. Ryan C.

    WOW!!! They were married at the time and he still may get 5 years......??? What is this world coming too??? She should have changed her password. Really shows how bright she is. Why would he not have the right too??? They were married. My wife checks my email all the time.

    December 30, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  73. Tony

    If it was a woman it wouldnt be an issue. If he had been the 1 cheating everyone would have applauded her catching him. Equality works both ways not just when its in you favor. Whether he did with good intentions or not is irrelevant. She cheated and got caught. She learned to keep her legs crossed she wouldnt have any reason to worry.

    December 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  74. Zach C

    What is the exact charge? Its a shared computer, its his responsability to know the content of the hard drive.

    December 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  75. Tee

    This a joke. You are wasting tax payer money. If she was stupid enough to use the home computer while having affair...she should have been caught. The best way to avoid this is not to have an affair. If she was getting a divorce what was wrong with just waiting to get into another relationship.

    The bad part is there are kids involved in all this drama.

    December 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  76. Karen

    No wonder our country is in the mess it is in! What ever happened to decency (in this case both the woman and man seem to have none), privacy ( why leave a trail of the most intimate details of life?), self-control, common sense, putting another ahead of yourself and making children the priority? It's not about whether this should be legal or not; it's about total lack of integrity on the part of the couple, the attorneys and the court that has agreed to actually bring this insanity to trial!

    December 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  77. Jah Larry Dread

    From what I read, he is the third husband. What happened in the first marriage? Having an affair with the second husband and: “The couple was indeed living together when he decided to do his "research" within the email of his wife on their shared home computer”...A shared computer with a given password is an open door! She is a very sloppy cheater. Is there a charge for cheating while married? Or did she see it; well we were married so it’s ok.

    December 31, 2010 at 12:55 am |
  78. Robert Robinson

    I think it is an outrageous misuse of the law to prosecute a man who looked at his then-wifes e-mail and used the information in an effort to protect his children. I think the Oakland County Proscutor should face criminal charges for misfeasence of office. The prosecutor clearly knows that the prohibition against reading e-mail cannot apply to the spouse of the person whose e-mail was read since as a married couple at the time of the action, each person had equal access to anything on their common computer, and e-mails are community property in California.

    December 31, 2010 at 2:21 am |
  79. guigui

    I can't believe it ... The woman was cheating wich in some states is a crime et yet they are charging the husband. Litte funny

    December 31, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  80. Adejumo Oyeleye

    ...oh, yeah,
    if a Wooman will have anything against the Husband reading her mail, then She better don't say; For better for worse!
    A Woman who is afraid that Her Husband could read her e-mail, this type of Women are despirate then because, if you're Honest toward your Husband, you should trust him up to that extend of reading your mails! – IT SHOULD NOT BE ILLEGAL for a Man to read his Wifes e-mails!
    Behind every Successful Woman is also a Man and there should not be any Tabus between a couple if not, there will be trouble because, there is NO good TABU!
    I am the JAH!
    I Bless you all

    January 1, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  81. Bronson Rockwell

    Whoever made this law needs to be put in jail and under the supervision of psychiatric care! This is an excellent example of substantiated proof of the Confederacy of Dunces in which we live!

    January 1, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  82. allpoints

    The prosecutor should be named and shamed.

    January 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  83. Robert

    The woman is a serial man-eater. To prosecute this guy is ridiculous.

    January 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  84. rizzo

    There should be a law against cheating spouses....not the means in how they come about finding about their affairs.
    Very sad case.....

    January 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  85. jim

    Crazy. Marriage is a shared commitment. Not to mention a promise not to fool around on the side. He does not deserve anything more than a slap on the wrist. She is the one fooling around. She is the one endangering her children.

    However, what this does put the spotlight on is this: The law being what it is (apparently its illegal to read your spouse's emails w/o their permission) If your spouse refuses to grant you permission to view their emails its time to get a lawyer. The trust is gone, and likely the fidelity will soon follow if not already lost.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  86. Ashley

    If you don't want your estranged spouse to read your emails, on the "shared" house computer....MOVE OUT! I am a divorced woman, who moved out when we decided to split. Lazy woman, living off her husband until the last possible second, but thinking she can sleep around at the same time?? You don't get to have your cake and eat it to. And if it involved an abusive X, and my kids, you bet I would move heaven and earth, and break every law I needed to, to make sure that my kids were safe!!!

    January 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  87. Lin

    This is crazy. Was she cheating with the 2nd husband and was this 2nd husband arrested for assaulting her in front of her child? That to me should be the real issues. If those things are true, she has some nerve being upset that her privacy was violoated. And this is a waste of taxpayers money and lawyer fees if this goes to court.

    Why does it always seem the ones that have something wrong to hide are crying they are the one being unfairly treated by the way they are caught hiding their wrong-doing???!!!! Sheesh.

    I'm all for violating a spouses privacy if they are cheating or doing other immoral and/or illegal acts.

    There should be nothing you need to hide from your spouse and that includes passwords and emails. If you feel the need to hide something, that means you have something to hide that is wrong!! Different situation if you are married to a control freak that needs to know your every single move. I'm talking about in a healthy relationship there shouldn't be a need to have secret passwords.

    Sounds like this relationship wasn't healthy.

    January 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  88. MaMaRose

    His laywer should check the laws to see if adultry is still illegal in that state. It's still on the books in our state!
    Trash always defends their actions!

    January 8, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  89. Susan

    I dont care if its illegal or not, Id look at my husbands email if I was going thru a divorce. And maybe I did! Justice is swift or justice is blind, but justice in a divorce is crazy.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  90. Georgia

    In the eyes of the law you are as ONE while you are married. In light of this, I am going to have to ask the IRS to please go after my cheating husband for the taxes he owes them and ask them to respect my privacy!

    January 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  91. Jeff in Tampa

    What the article failed to mention is that the password was left in plain sight by his wife, but the charge against him involves "hacking." I'm sorry, but being too stupid to properly protect your password should result in this case being dismissed in a heartbeat. I'm sure she has opened his mail at some point in the past, and he could easily use that as an unofficial "agreement" between he and his spouse to share household communications. Case dismissed...

    January 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm |