Larry Mendte formally charged

July 21, 2008 2:40:49 PM PDT
Longtime television newscaster Larry Mendte was charged Monday with illegally accessing the e-mail of his glamorous former co-anchor.

Federal prosecutors issued a one-count information charging the former KYW-TV anchor with a felony count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. Authorities said he hacked into the account of Alycia Lane, whose personal life had routinely become tabloid fodder. You can read the official court documents by CLICKING HERE.

"People expect that e-mail in a password-protected personal e-mail account is private," acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said. "The mere accessing and reading of privileged information is criminal. This case, however, went well beyond just reading someone's e-mail."

Mendte gained access to Lane's accounts for more than two years, prosecutors said. In a four-month span starting in January, Mendte accessed her accounts approximately 537 times, authorities said.

He was fired from Philadelphia's CBS affiliate last month after FBI agents searched his home and seized his computer. His attorney, Michael Schwartz, said the charge against Mendte "should not come as a surprise to anyone."

"As we continually have said from day one, Larry has been cooperating fully with the investigators. He continues to cooperate and will accept full responsibility for his actions," Schwartz said.