Former 'Jeopardy!' winner pleads guilty to hacking colleagues' emails, could get 5 years

In 2012, her winning streak on TV’s “Jeopardy!” set a record for a female contestant.

But when she’s sentenced July 20, she could get a prison sentence of up to five years.

Stephanie Jass, 48, of Tecumseh, Mich., pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lenawee Circuit Court to a charge of unauthorized computer access.

The seven-time "Jeopardy!" winner -- who taught history at a small Michigan college -- sneaking into the email accounts of other professors, administrators and students at the school, authorities said.

During a four-day period last year, the college reset everyone's passwords and assigned everyone the same temporary password. During that time, Jass logged into other people's email accounts without permission, authorities said.

Stephanie Jass poses at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. The former "Jeopardy!" winner has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing co-workers' email accounts.

Stephanie Jass poses at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. The former "Jeopardy!" winner has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing co-workers' email accounts. (Mike Dickie/The Daily Telegram via Associated Press)

Another professor learned what Jass had done and told school officials. Jass was later fired.

“Privacy rights are a fundamental principle of our American democracy and Adrian College stands with those who protect these rights,” the school said after Wednesday's plea.

“Privacy rights are a fundamental principle of our American democracy and Adrian College stands with those who protect these rights.”

— Adrian College statement

Jass' seven-episode "Jeopardy!" winning streak in 2012 was later broken by Julia Collins in 2014.

Defense attorney Raymond Correll said in court Wednesday that he intends to seek a delayed sentence, which would push back Jass' sentencing to see how she follows bond conditions set by a judge, according to the Daily Telegram of Adrian.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.