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Criminal Justice

Ex-News Anchor Pleads in E-Mail Snooping Case

Posted Aug 22, 2008 12:00 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Until a few months ago, Larry Mendte was a television news anchor at CBS 3 in Philadelphia. Today, the ex-anchor was in the news at his former station and throughout the country after he pleaded guilty in a criminal case in federal court to intentionally accessing the private e-mail accounts of his former co-anchor, Alycia Lane, at the CBS affiliate, which is also known as KYW-TV. She was fired from her job early this year, allegedly at least in part because of his e-mail snooping.

Although he could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison when he is sentenced in November, Mendte is expected to get six months or less, perhaps even no jail time, CBS 3 reports on its website:

"The U.S. Attorney's Office said he logged on from his Chestnut Hill home, his vacation home, KYW and another location and then leaked information, including attorney-client privileged information relating to both criminal litigation in which Lane was involved in New York and civil litigation Lane brought against KYW in Philadelphia, to at reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News."

As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, Mendte apparently became obsessed with jealousy, when Lane's career appeared to be eclipsing his own, and set out to destroy her professionally, according to a lawyer for Lane. He reportedly accessed her e-mail more than 500 times, sometimes as frequently as 10 times daily.

"Mendte admitted that he illegally viewed hundreds of Alycia Lane's e-mails from March 2006 to May 2008, at a time when leaked information about her personal life contributed to her downfall," reports the Associated Press.

Lane sued CBS 3 for defamation in June, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported at that time. The lawsuit did not name Mendte as a defendant.

Additional coverage:

Associated Press: " 'Sexy' Philadelphia Anchor Alycia Lane Fired"

Philadelphia: "The Very Public Self-Destruction of Alycia Lane"

Philadelphia Daily News: "Jill Porter: For robbing Alycia Lane of everything, Larry Mendte gets a big nothing"

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