A 33-year-old Michigan man faces up to five years in prison for logging into his wife's email account. The man said he had suspicions that his wife was cheating on him with her previous husband. The man is the woman's third husband. The emails then became a part of an emergency child custody motion and eventually led to the couple's divorce this month. The man is currently out on bond and faces trial on February 7.
The man from Michigan used his wife's password to log into her Gmail account and discovered that she was having an affair with her second husband. The woman's second husband had previously been arrested for domestic violence against the woman. The man feared that the woman's son would be in danger of being exposed to a similar situation again and gave the emails to the child's father, the woman's first husband. After receiving the emails, the child's father filed an emergency motion for child custody. After learning that her husband had accessed her account the woman pressed charges against her third husband and the man was arrested under Michigan anti-hacking statutes.
Prosecutors say the 33-year-old man is a highly trained hacker and used his skills to violate his wife's right to privacy. While the man is a computer technician, the man says the couple shared the same laptop and his wife kept a book of passwords near the computer. The man's defense attorney says that the hacking statute the man is being prosecuted under is meant to punish individuals who illegally access government databases or punish individuals who steal private company trade secrets.
Source: Detroit Free Press, "Is Reading Wife's Email a Crime? Rochester Hills Man Faces Trial," L.L. Brasier, 12/26/10