Leon Walker charged with felony hacking for reading wife’s e-mail


Leon Walker claims he was not hacking his wife's e-mail because she left her password sitting around. Image: Flickr / titanas / CC-BY-SA

Leon Walker of Rochester Hills, Mich., is facing felony charges under an anti-hacking statute. Walker hacked into his wife’s Gmail account to check up on her. His defense, however, is that it wasn’t hacking, and it was to protect their child.

Leon Walker’s alleged crime

Leon Walker was arrested and will be tried on Feb. 7 on anti-hacking statues. The laws were written in order to prevent identity theft and hacking of government computers. If convicted of hacking, Leon Walker faces up to five years in prison. The alleged hacking crime happened when Leon Walker logged into his wife’s Gmail account to try to confirm his suspicion that she was being unfaithful to him.

The defense against Leon Walker hacking charge

Leon Walker and his lawyers do not dispute that he logged into his wife’s e-mail account. He claims that his wife had a habit of leaving her passwords written on pieces of paper around the house. He also claims that the laptop he used was purchased after they were married and was shared between the two of them. In addition, Leon Walker claims that his wife would leave her Gmail logged in on that shared computer on a regular basis.

Justification for Leon Walker’s alleged crime

If Leon Walker’s defense that his wife had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” does not work, it is not his only option. Walker claims that he checked his wife’s e-mail out of concern for her child’s safety. He checked her e-mail after she did not come home one night. He became concerned that she was spending time with her first husband, who was convicted of domestic abuse. Walker printed the e-mails and provided them to his wife’s second husband, father of the child. When questioned, the second husband revealed that the e-mails came from Leon Walker.



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