Man Faces Criminal Charges For Hacking Wife's E-Mail Home Account

By: Bill Waters
Staff Writer
Published: Dec 27, 2021

Man faces criminal charges for hacking wife's e-mail home account. Man faces possible criminal charges for hacking wife's e-mail account. Oakland County prosecutors are relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets.

The man, Leon Walker, has been charged with a felony after he logged onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife, Clara Walker.

Using her password, he accessed her Gmail account and learned she was having an affair. He is going to trial Feb. 7. She filed for divorce, which was finalized earlier this month.

Legal experts say it's the first time the statute has been used in a domestic case, and it might be a hard to prove among spouses who are still married.

"It's going to be interesting because there are no clear legal answers here," Frederick Lane, a Vermont attorney and nationally recognized expert who has published five books on electronic privacy, said in a statement. "The fact that the two still were living together, and that Leon Walker had routine access to the computer, may help him," Lane said.

About 45 percent of divorce cases involve some snooping -- and gathering -- of e-mail, Facebook and other online material, Lane said. But he added that those are generally used by the warring parties for civil reasons -- not for criminal prosecution.