Michigan Man Criminally Charged After Reading Wife’s Email

In Rochester Hills, Michigan, prosecutors have brought a highly controversial case — criminally charging a man for reading his ex-wife’s emails without her permission. Leon Walker, 33, could receive five years for the common act of logging on to his wife’s email, an act of snooping that disclosed that she was having an affair with another man. This is the first known time where a spouse or ex-spouse has been prosecuted under the law without any evidence of commercial theft. Yet, the office of Jessica Cooper (left) appears to want to create new precedent that would radically expand the reach of the law.

Oakland County prosecutors are using a criminal provision designed to prosecute identity theft and the theft of trade secrets.

Leon Walker shared a laptop with his wife, Clara Walker, and accessed her GMail account. They later divorced.

Putting aside the intent behind this law, the question is one of prosecutorial discretion and frankly over-reach. We have seen the gradual over-criminalization of America where every act — great or small — has been translated into some form of crime. For a previous column, click here. If this type of intrusion is criminal, millions of people would be felons. Without some evidence of a collateral crime such as identity theft, the prosecutors should have left this to the divorce courts. My assumption is that Ms. Cooper has other crimes to prosecute in Michigan.

Source: FREEP

Jonathan Turley

30 thoughts on “Michigan Man Criminally Charged After Reading Wife’s Email”

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  2. I agree with Marvin Allen: kids, spouses, siblings, family members who share computers/the same household routinely try to find out information on each other (for whatever reason) by snooping through drawers, address books; even diaries are irresistible and all these things, while off limits from a point of view of “that’s not nice” is human nature. If I hadn’t rifled through my (now ex’s) car glove compartment when a few rolled up business cards accidentally fell to the floor, I’d still be married to a coke-snorting junkie spending all of our money on her habit. Yes people snoop all the time and emails, especially if left open, or even if they’re not, are game. Maybe not fair game – but who said life is fair? As it turned out, the guy was right about her.

  3. To charge this man for reading his wife’s email is crazy. Women are constantly checking into the life of a man. If a woman believes that her man is cheating on her, she is going to do anything necessary to find out the truth. Call your friends, check your phone, and/or this. Check through emails. It’s crazy for this man to be charged. The only reason why she is pressing charges is because this man was right about her cheating in the relationship. No judge should even entertain this hearing. There is no reason for this man to go to Jail, so his cheating wife can keep all his stuff and the house, just so she can sleep with whoever she wants. I feel for this guy, not only did he get into a bad relationship, but also in a bad relationship with someone that would be crazy enough to try to put him in Jail over something that are just as likely to commit woman.

  4. Inside story….it is a divorce….he bought the laptop for her…he used it for work…she kept a diary beside the laptop with passwords in it…he opened it….he found out that she was having an affair with her second hubby….she divorced for the third one…..she beat her son from the first hubby ….. he told first hubby and sent him an email…CPS got involved…..a change of custody occurred….the wife of all three was pissed….and had charges filed…the kicker is that the third hubby is a computer programmer…

    All’s I can say is she is a real dumb shit….

  5. I think that if the evidence that she was cheating he had probable cause just like the law has those same rights,Need evidence to prove what she was irresponsible is crucial.If you don’t give that right to individuals whats next the right of citizens arrest are taken away or lets just make sure the truth should never be heard and just do what we are supposed to do as Americans just submit and be taken advantage of as we do today.With disolusions,deception and lies Taken over America.(football throw the challenge flag down and if you right you get the call,If your wrong your out of time outs.

  6. There might be details of which I am unaware or maybe I didn’t read the post well enough.

    However, it appears that the man being prosecuted accessed his wife’s email AFTER they were divorced?

    If so, then he should be prosecuted for invasion of privacy or whatever criminal code applies.

    My ex wife, five years after my divorce, accessed and used my charge card. Was that legal? Nope. And the issuer of the card agreed with me and went after her. She wasn’t prosecuted but she had to work things out somehow to their satisfaction.

    On the other hand, if the prosecutor is claiming that the government should be sticking its ugly, dirty nose into marriages where people agreed to be one family under the law… then thats a different story. Then its an issue between the spouses and they can divorce or whatever without some air head prosecutor attempting to play hero to the complaining spouse.

    I fully believe that the government has gone so far sideways in how they dictate our lives to us… that it is time to begin a dismantle process where we literally de-fund department after department and agency after agency until we get the bureaucrats to understand that they work for us… not the other way around.

    And bureaucrats are just unable to understand anything less severe than that. Unless their jobs are threatened with deletion, they have some mental illness that tells them they have a right to make a law and dictate to us how we live our daily lives.

  7. Follow up:

    Leon Walker: Man Who Faces Jail For Reading Wife’s Email Appears On ‘Today’ Show

    Huffington Post | Sara Wilson First Posted: 12-28-10 02:26 PM | Updated: 12-28-10 02:26 PM

    Leon Walker, the Michigan man who may serve time behind bars for reading his now-ex-wife Clara’s email as a means of exposing her extra-marital affair, appeared on the Today show this morning.


  8. Do you remember Joe Nacchio? He was accused of insider trading and is in jail now after a trial presided by my enemy former judge Edward Nottingham.

    It was claimed that Nacchio was targeted for insider trading because he was the only telecommunications executive who resisted government’s warrant-less searches of emails.

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