On-line Love Crimes

 

On-line Love Crimes
By: CJ Cassidy

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

B
ut how much is too much information?

O
n 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.

"T
his 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.
B
ut
he says
the problems start when they put the brakes on their relationship.

"I'
ve had it to where
people have
sen
t
out e-mails to professors to family with members to anyone that will cause
the
owner of the account quite some embarrassment
," he says.

T
hat 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.

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

"T
hat'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.

M

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

"W
e 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.

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