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The People of the State of Illinois v. Barbara Janisch

March 2, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BARBARA JANISCH,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 07-CM-4865 Honorable Kyle Napp, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Goldenhersh

NOTICE

Decision filed 03/02/12. The text of this decision may be changed or corrected prior to the filing of a Petition for Rehearing or the disposition of the same.

delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Chapman and Wexstten concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 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 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.

¶ 2 FACTS

¶ 3 In June 2007, defendant and Michael Brumitt were in the midst of an ongoing dispute over child support. They had been divorced for over a decade.

¶ 4 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.

¶ 5 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.

¶ 6 Brumitt testified that he had logged into his Hotmail account from various locations, including home, work, and wireless rooms, and that Juanita 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.

¶ 7 Defendant's mother, Euple Sullivan, had Internet service from Charter and a "Yahoo!" e-mail account in 2007. Sullivan testified that she never e-mailed Brumitt but that anyone who lived at her house was allowed to use her computer. Defendant was staying at Sullivan's house in June 2007.

¶ 8 Detective David Vucich of the Madison County sheriff's department subpoenaed Internet Protocol (IP) logs and subscriber information for Brumitt's e-mail address ending with @hotmail.com through Microsoft Network (MSN). After reviewing these documents, Detective Vucich subpoenaed records from Charter Communications for an IP address that recurred throughout the logs of entry into Brumitt's account. The IP address was registered to Euple Sullivan.

¶ 9 Detective Vucich then subpoenaed Yahoo! for records on the e-mail accounts that had sent the e-mails. The IP address for these accounts was the same one that was registered to Sullivan and had been used for entry into Brumitt's account. Detective Vucich concluded that the person sending the e-mails was also doing so from Sullivan's home.

ΒΆ 10 Defendant was charged with computer tampering. 720 ILCS 5/16D-3(a)(2) (West 2006). The charge alleged that "defendant, knowingly and without authorization of Michael Brumitt, accessed computer data from his MSN hotmail email ...


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