From the Detroit Free Press, Leon Walker is facing a five-year felony charge after accessing now-ex-wife Clara Walker’s Gmail account to see whether she was having an affair. A 1979 Michigan law prohibits accessing a computer system without consent.
Walker and his attorneys, Leon Weiss and Matthew Klakulak, said the law was never intended for domestic matters, but was designed to prevent identity theft and the theft of trade secrets.
Earlier this year, the attorneys asked the appellate court to throw out the charges. On Tuesday, three appellate judges peppered Klakulak with questions, asking why Walker’s actions weren’t unlawful hacking.
Klakulak said the law was “ambiguous” and wasn’t intended for “ridiculously innocuous conduct” like peeping at a family member’s Gmail account.
But judge Pat Donofrio said Walker’s actions appear to fall squarely under the law the way it was written.
“Your client is being charged with securing intellectual property — her e-mail, accessing her intellectual property,” he said.
Klakulak also argued legislators never intended the law to be used for snooping spouses and that if it’s used as such, it could criminalize activities such as parents monitoring their children’s online activities.