There's a little bit of a soap opera going on around here (Philadelphia), wherein one insecure anchor (Larry Mendte) spied on the other (Alycia Lane) by traipsing through her Work e-mail account, and two personal accounts. In a bid to rid himself of the competition - his own coworker - it has come out he's leaked details of her personal life to a local reporter, the last of which was her run in with the law in New York. (Other episodes include infamous bikini pics to NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen. [alas! No pics!])
Normally celebrity news bores me, but something caught my eye:
The details of Mendte's spying are spelled out in a federal information charging him with a single felony count of accessing e-mail without authorization, to which he is expected to plead guilty. A hearing is set for Aug. 22(emphasis mine)
This really frosts me since Mendte accessed multiple accounts 537 times - and is only being charged with one count! When the feds seized his computer in June, it was noted he used a keylogger to grab her yahoo password, and pass along personal information that ultimately got her fired - essentially a crime worth thousands to Lane.
I know from reading here, and elsewhere, that many times prosecutors would go ahead and charge younger people [read: students] with a crime for each access, as well as wire-tapping statutes for the keylogger. So, for 537 illegal accesses to someone else's computer, the potential jail time could be in the dozens of years. Also, there is the fact the servers are across the country from each other, so this adds a layer of interfering with interstate communications, and I find myself wondering about this disparity between how Mendte is being treated compared to others who have had many more charges from essentially the same thing.
This one count thing really burns me when I see younger kids being stupid - changing grades, say - and getting multiple federal charges, and being likened to international terrorist and criminals while here Mendte, a "celebrity", no doubt being able to afford a good lawyer, getting off scot-free by comparison.
So, my question is this: Am I over reacting, or do others feel the same way? I"ve been contemplating making a stink about this, so I'd really like to know if I should put out the effort or let it die here.