Man Slapped with Felony After Snooping in His Wife’s E-mail

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Daniel Acker / Bloomberg News / Getty Images

And it goes without saying that the incident also netted him a divorce.

A Michigan man is facing a possible five years in jail for poking around in his wife’s Gmail. Leon Walker was charged with a felony under a Michigan law that guards against identity theft and stealing data. But does the potential punishment fit the crime?

(More from Healthland: See more about men, women, and jealousy.)

As the story goes, Walker logged into his (now ex-) wife Clara’s Gmail account under suspicion that she was having an affair – typical marital drama. But, Jerry Springer alert: Walker is Clara’s third husband, and he found e-mails that indicated she was cheating on him with her second husband, a man who had once beaten Clara’s young son. The third husband told Clara’s first husband, the child’s father, about the affair, fearing for the child’s safety. The first husband appealed to police for custody of the child. That’s when the story unraveled.

Walker, a computer technician, maintains he did nothing wrong. “We’re talking about putting a child in danger,” he said. But the Oakland County prosecutor called him “a hacker” who used the information “in a very contentious way.”

(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s archive of the WikiLeaks dump.)

But how did Walker get access to the computer? He says it was a family computer, and Clara wrote all of her passwords down in a notebook next to the computer. Brilliant. She claims all of her passwords were secret and the computer was hers alone. This one’s going to the jury, folks.

A typical case of he said, she said. Though NewsFeed wonders what Jerry Springer’s “Final Thought” would have been. (via Detroit Free Press)

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