Two suspended state troopers, previously from Catasauqua, have been ordered to face trial on charges they hacked the Facebook account of the former lover of one of the troopers, the state attorney general’s office announced.
Anthony Kingsley, 32, is charged with unlawful use of a computer, computer trespassing, harassment and conspiracy for allegedly accessing his former lover’s Facebook account without her permission.
He is charged along with Erin Cawley, 41, who faces a count each of conspiracy to commit unlawful use of a computer, conspiracy to commit computer trespassing and harassment.
Both are free on bail. The two face a court hearing next month following a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge Eric M. Schrantz of Jim Thorpe.
The suspended troopers, now of Walnutport, had been stationed at the Lehighton barracks.
“These two state troopers know and understand the law, yet they chose to break into someone else’s Facebook account, steal personal correspondence, and give it to a third party,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement. “Their behavior was illegal, and my office will hold them accountable.
“No one — including law enforcement — is above the law.”
According to a criminal complaint:
The victim filed a report with Jim Thorpe police in January 2017 after she found out her Facebook account had been hacked and she suspected it was done by her former lover Kingsley and his girlfriend Cawley.
Jim Thorpe police referred the case to state police since both suspects are state troopers.
The victim was interviewed days later at the state police barracks at Fern Ridge.
She told police that she had been involved in an affair with Kingsley from December 2015 to July 2016. At the same time, the victim said, Kingsley was in a relationship with Cawley, who was pregnant with his child, and lived with her in Catasauqua.
While they were in their relationship, Kingsley used the victim’s Facebook account to search for social events since he didn’t have his own, the victim told police. During their relationship, he used her Facebook page without her permission and knew her username and password.
The victim said her relationship with Kingsley ended when Cawley discovered the affair in late July 2016 and caused a scene at her house. Jim Thorpe police were called to break up the disturbance and Kingsley and the victim agreed to not see or communicate with each other anymore.
Six months later, the victim said she found out someone hacked her Facebook page.
Authorities allege that Kingsley and Cawley got on the Facebook page of Kingsley’s former lover and printed out private message conversations she was having with a married man. Kingsley hand-delivered those printouts to the married man’s wife, police said. The wife was interviewed by state police and she said Kingsley told her that what he was doing was legal, police said.
The suspended troopers also deleted information from the victim’s Facebook page without her permission, police said. State police searched Kingsley and Cawley’s home in April 2017, seizing computers, tablets, cellphones and other electronic devices.
Cawley had attempted to delete messages trying to cover up the hacks, but those messages were retrieved, police said.
“All messages are gone,” she texted someone. “Apple is one of the most secure phones to have … everything deleted is encrypted.”