In a criminal case that is rapidly garnering international attention, 33-year old Michigan native Leon Walker is facing felony computer misuse charges — and up to 5 years in jail — for allegedly hacking into his ex-wife Clara’s email account.
Leon Walker claims that his actions were done to protect his children. Specifically, he was searching for — and found — email evidence that Clara was having an affair with her former husband; a man who had previously beaten her in front of her son (his step-son).
“I started putting more thought into it, (and thought) she was very likely taking our daughter over to [her abusive former husband’s] house,” Walker told The Oakland Press. “So I said to myself, I bet you I can confirm that by reading her e-mail. She kept very simple passwords and she left them in notes and books throughout the house.”
Leon Walker’s trial begins on February 7, 2011. “I feel very strongly that I’ll be exonerated,” he told told The Oakland Press.
It’s an optimistic view that has some support from Privacy Law writer Frederick Lane, who told the Detroit Free Press that the law Walker was charged under is typically used for prosecuting identity theft and corporate espionage. Lane questions whether a wife can expect privacy on a computer she shares with her husband.