PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ―
Nov 25, 2008 5:48 am US/Eastern
Larry Mendte Sentenced To 3 Years Probation
Former CBS 3 anchor Larry Mendte returned to federal court Monday to be sentenced after pleading guilty in August to illegally accessing the email of his former co-anchor Alycia Lane.
Mendte, who bypassed media as he entered the courthouse for his 3 p.m. hearing, was sentenced to three years probation, six months home confinement, 250 hours community service, computer monitoring, psychiatric evaluation, a $5,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.
Alycia Lane, accompanied by her attorneys Paul Rosen and David Smith, boyfriend Chris Booker, and family, did not speak publicly. Lane provided a confidential statement to the probation officer which was given to the court. Several character witnesses also wrote letters to the court on Larry's behalf, including his wife, who took the stand and apologized to Lane. Mendte also addressed the judge saying he knew what he did was wrong and offered Lane an apology.
This past summer, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Mendte had been charged with intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. Between January 1, 2008 and May 28, 2008 Mendte allegedly accessed Lane's private e-mail accounts 537 times, but prosecutors say the tampering began as early as March 2006.
Prosecutors say Mendte accessed Lane's email more than 3,000 times, describing it as "
a two-year long, underhanded assault on the privacy of a co-worker to satisfy the defendant's own morbid curiosity, and to destroy her reputation and her career."
During an August 2008 court appearance, Mendte admitted in August 2006 he purchased a keystroke logger -- hardware that can be used to obtain a password to another person's computer accounts.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Mendte had 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, to a reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News.
Court documents indicate Mendte also sent an anonymous letter to prosecutors in New York concerning a criminal case against Lane, who was arrested in December 2007 during an altercation with New York City police officers. The letter was reportedly an attempt to sabotage the disposition of the criminal case that Lane's New York criminal attorney was negotiating with prosecutors.
Under a deal accepted by the New York district attorney's office, the original felony charge against Lane in that criminal case was dropped in February with the understanding that lesser charges would be expunged from Lane's record if she fulfilled a community service agreement and stayed out of trouble for six months. In August, Lane met those conditions and all charges were dropped.
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