A man in the US is facing up to five-years in jail after he read his wife's emails without her permission.
Leon Walker, 33, had suspected his wife Clara of having an affair with her former husband, and he is alleged to have used his computer skills to gain access to her Gmail email account on the shared home computer.
AdvertisementWalker, who works as an IT technician for Oakland County, has now been charged under tough anti-hacking laws aimed at preventing identity theft in the US.
The matter came to light when Walker, who found a series of emails in his wife's account proving that she was being unfaithful, handed the letters to her first husband, who is the father of her son.
The reason he had done so was because his wife was having an affair with her second husband, who had previously been arrested for beating her in front of her son.
The concerned father, Clara's first husband, sought sole custody of the boy and was forced into revealing Walker had leaked him the emails.
When his wife realised her emails had been read she went to the authorities to press charges.
Prosecutors in Oakland County, Michigan, charged Walker under the state's anti-hacking laws, which were aimed at stopping identity theft, and used to prosecute people who hack into Government computers.
Prosecutor Jessica Cooper dismissed Walker's claims that he had used his wife's password to log on to the computer, and said that he was nothing but a "hacker" who used his skills as a computer technician to gain access to the account.
Walker said he was worried as his wife was taking their one-year-old daughter to stay with her violent ex-husband.
"I started putting more thought into it, and thought she was very likely taking our daughter over to the guy's house," the Daily Mail quoted Walker as saying.
"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.
"I was doing what I had to do. We're talking about putting a child in danger," he added.
Walker has denied that he had hacked into the account, and insisted his wife kept the password to the account on a book near the home computer.
He is due to go on trial in February and could face a maximum of five years in jail if convicted.
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