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People v. Janisch

Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District

March 2, 2012, Opinion Filed

NO. 5-10-0150

Opinion

 [***P1]  [*1034]   [****346]   Defendant, Barbara Janisch, was charged in the circuit court of Madison County with computer tampering under the Computer Crime Prevention Law (720 ILCS 5/16D-3(a)(2) (West 2006)). After  [*1035]   [****347]  trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilt and the circuit court entered a judgment on the verdict. On appeal, defendant raises issues as to whether the actions of the defendant as supported by the evidence constituted computer tampering (720 ILCS 5/16D-3(a)(2) (West 2006)). We affirm.

 [***P2]  FACTS

 [***P3]  In June 2007, defendant and Michael Brumitt were in the midst of an ongoing dispute over child support. They had been  [**2] divorced for over a decade.

 [***P4]  In June 2007, Brumitt's wife, Juanita, viewed one of his e-mail accounts and saw a message from a "Misty Reynolds" suggesting a follow-up to a romantic interlude. A similar message from Misty was sent to Brumitt's MySpace account. Suspecting that defendant had sent the messages under the pseudonym of Misty, Juanita sent a message to the sender, who replied that Brumitt was involved in an extramarital affair.

 [***P5]  Juanita suspected that "Misty" had access to Brumitt's e-mail account ending with @hotmail.com. The e-mails from Misty referred to information Brumitt had put in other e-mails sent from his account, including his salary and his attendance at a recent company dinner in Texas. In addition to the e-mails from Misty, Juanita testified that she believed someone had accessed Brumitt's e-mail account and sent a personal e-mail between Brumitt and Juanita to everyone on Brumitt's contact list. Juanita contended that the e-mails caused personal turmoil for her and Brumitt, both in their marriage and for Brumitt at work.

 [***P6]  Brumitt testified that he had logged into his Hotmail account from various locations, including home, work, and wireless rooms, and that Juanita  [**3] and his son, the subject of the child support dispute, were the only other people whom he told of his password. According to Brumitt, the e-mails from Misty contained direct quotes of e-mails he had sent to Juanita. Brumitt admitted that defendant never physically touched his home computer.

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966 N.E.2d 1034 *; 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 134 **; 2012 IL App (5th) 100150 ***; 359 Ill. Dec. 346 ****

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BARBARA JANISCH, Defendant-Appellant.

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 07-CM-4865. Honorable Kyle Napp, Judge, presiding.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

e-mail, accessed, ownership, authorization, tampering, hotmail

Business & Corporate Compliance, Computer & Internet Law, Criminal Offenses, Data Crimes & Fraud, Criminal Law & Procedure, Double Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy Protection, General Overview