On-line Love Crimes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

On-line Love Crimes


On-line Love Crimes
By: CJ Cassidy

Cape Girardeau, MO - Most of us know what it's like to be in love; to get caught up in that feeling where you want to share everything about yourself with your significant other.

But how much is too much information?

On this day set aside for lovers, we wanted to find out just what kinds of problems you could run up against when love goes sour.

"I get about 4 or 5 of these every six months," Detective Brad SMith with the Cape Girardeau POlice Department says as he sifts through cases that revolve around spats between ex-lovers.

"This type of spite and revenge evolves with technology, it's just a new way of doing it," Smith says, adding couples often exchange passwords to e-mail accounts. But he says the problems start when they put the brakes on their relationship.

"I've had it to where people have sent out e-mails to professors to family with members to anyone that will cause the owner of the account quite some embarrassment," he says.

That may sound like a pure prank, but smith says violators can face misdemeanor charges for tampering with computer data.

"I really don't see the person I'm involved with, ever doing that to ruin my reputation," Jessica Diebold, a SEMO student says.

But the detective points out no one ever does, and that's why the problem exists.

"That's the risk you run. You hope you're in a relationship that isn't going to end, and if it does, or you think it's going to, you may want to change your password before they change it for you," Smith says.

Most computer users we talked to say it's tough to stay cynical when your "keyed" up about your love life.

"We have a pretty open relationship so I don't think I have anything to worry about," another student at the SEMO campus, Allison Rohe says.

A first time offender can spend up to one year in prison and get a thousand dollar fine.

If the violator makes any kind of threat, prosecutors could also tack on felony stalking charges.

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