Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lincoln County Prosecutor's Ex-Husband Claims Unauthorized Cell Phone Access

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lincoln County Prosecutor's Ex-Husband Claims Unauthorized Cell Phone Access

Article excerpt

LINCOLN COUNTY * The top prosecutor here, Leah Askey, was sued Wednesday by an ex-husband who claims she abused her position to gain unauthorized access to his old cellphone and extract deleted text messages, emails and other communications.

"I'm not going to dignify my ex-husband's frivolous claims with a response," Askey said by phone Wednesday. "Not now, nor have I ever done anything that I believed to be illegal at any time," she said, whether as a prosecutor or a mother.

The key issue, two former federal prosecutors told the Post- Dispatch, is what information was left on the phone and how it was extracted.

The suit was filed in Lincoln County Circuit Court by John C. Askey.

It claims that although the phone had been cleared of data, Leah Askey forced one of the former couple's young sons to give up its password sometime after he got the phone in the fall of 2014, then "conspired" with someone or used her "professional" contacts to recover deleted data.

The goal, the suit alleges, was to see what information her ex- husband had about a controversial Lincoln County murder case.

Part of that case, the prosecution of Russell Faria in the death of his wife in 2011, included an allegation that Leah Askey had an affair with one of the police investigators. The suit says that she was concerned about what information her ex had about that, and what he had communicated to others, including Faria's lawyer.

Both Leah Askey and the investigator have denied the affair.

The suit also says that Leah Askey used information gleaned from her ex-husband's cellphone to make "numerous meritless ... private and salacious accusations" in retaliation for his bid to get more time with their children.

She may have obtained privileged communications with her ex- husband's attorneys, the suit says.

It also claims that she used them in a legal case involving her first husband and a child they have in common. …

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