A Michigan man must stand trial for reading his wife’s e-mail, says the Detroit Free Press. Oakland County prosecutors, relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, charged Leon Walker, 33, with a felony after he logged onto a laptop of his wife, Clara. Using her password, he accessed her Gmail account and learned she was having an affair. She filed for divorce, which was finalized this month.
Legal experts say it’s the first time the statute has been used in a domestic case, and it might be hard to prove. “It’s going to be interesting because there are no clear legal answers here,” said Frederick Lane, a Vermont attorney who has published five books on electronic privacy. The fact that the two still were living together, and that Leon Walker had routine access to the computer, may help him, Lane said. “I would guess there is enough gray area to suggest that she could not have an absolute expectation of privacy.”