Bishop returns to jail after contacting girlfriend

Bishop returns to jail after contacting girlfriend
Benjamin Bishop
Benjamin Bishop

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former defense contractor accused of espionage is back in Federal custody after violating the terms of his pre-trial release by contacting his girlfriend.

Benjamin Bishop was arrested in March, accused of leaking classified information to his 27-year-old girlfriend, who is here from China on a student visa.

Bishop had been allowed to remain in a halfway house, under the condition that he have no contact with the woman.

However, prosecutors said Bishop established e-mail accounts to communicate with her.

Bishop's attorney said the e-mails were innocent.

"As I said earlier in this case, its a case about love and not espionage, and I think this just goes to show the extent of that love," said defense lawyer Birney Bervar. "These are love letters. There's nothing substantial in there."

However, Federal Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ruled that Bishop had violated the terms of his release, and ordered him held pending trial.

Bishop, of Kapolei, is now in the Federal Detention Center. No trial date has been set.

Follow Ben Gutierrez:   

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.