Former faculty member sentenced for 'unauthorized access' to former student's e-mail account

Former faculty member sentenced for 'unauthorized access' to former student's e-mail account

Stephan Grzeskowiak, a former assistant professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas, was sentenced recently in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., for illegally using a computer to monitor e-mail activities of a former graduate business student here.

Grzeskokiak, 34, was sentenced April 23 by U.S. Judge Stephen Crocker to 360 days of probation for two misdemeanor counts of "unauthorized access to a protected computer." He also was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $774.18 in restitution to the former student whose computer was unlawfully accessed.

Grezskowiak was arrested last September in Newport News, Va., after a federal grand jury initially charged him with five counts of unlawful computer access. Each of those counts carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. At the time of his arrest, Grezskowiak was a visiting professor at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

"U.S. Magistrate Judge Crocker stated that the court 'cannot tolerate cyber-stalking crimes,' but balanced the offense against the fact that Grzeskowiak is seriously ill," explained a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Wisconsin.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy O'Shea, who prosecuted the case, the sentence was lenient because Grzeskowiak is seriously ill with cancer and is being treated in Germany.

Grezeskowiak and the student began a relationship in the fall of 2006 but the relationship ended the following spring. He was convicted of two misdemeanors that took place in May 2007. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Grzeskowiak admitted using software called SniperSpy to monitor the student's e-mail activities.