Former Law School Student Pleads Guilty To Cyberstalking
Posts Ads on Craigslist and other Websites
WILMINGTON, Del. – Ho Ka Terence Yung – a former student at the University of Texas Law School – entered a guilty plea yesterday to one count of cyber stalking, announced U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 27, 2019 before Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware.
Yung’s plea stems from conduct that one federal judge referred to as a “protracted, elaborate, and brutal effort to engage in the online destruction of an innocent victim and his family.” And it all started with a law school interview.
In 2014, Yung applied for admission to a top national law school. As part of the law school’s admission process, he interviewed with an alumnus in Delaware – a person referred to in the Indictment as “Victim 1.” Yung performed poorly in this interview and the law school denied his application a week later.
Despite gaining acceptance to the University of Texas Law School, Yung embarked on a cyber stalking campaign to harass and intimidate Victim 1 and his family. Yung repeatedly published violent and sadistic statements about Victim 1 on the Internet – including descriptions of rape, lynching, sexual molestation, and graphic violence. As just one example, the defendant posted a false story about Victim 1 on a public website, which involved the abduction of an eight-year old girl from an elementary school. In this story, the defendant described kidnapping the little girl at gunpoint, cutting off her clothes with a knife, and raping her.
Yung also repeatedly posted personal ads on Craigslist and other websites with the intent that individuals interested in violent and sadistic sexual activity would go to Victim 1’s residence in the middle of the night. For example, on October 29, 2015, the defendant posed as a “cute blonde hottie” and posted an ad on Craigslist stating, among other things:
i need a big strong man to dominate me tonight . . . i like it when a man puts his hand around my throat and threatens me with a knife . . . then you pull my hair and take out your gun and threaten me . . . i’m a bad girl, and I need to be punished by a big strong man. send me a picture with you holding your gun. all others will be ignored.
Notably, the above ad was published a day after local police stopped a man outside of Victim 1’s residence in the middle of the night, who was looking for Victim 1’s wife. He was responding to a similar Craigslist ad and the defendant directed him to Victim 1’s residence.
Following a months-long investigation by the FBI - Wilmington Resident Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Yung was arrested in Austin, Texas in February 2017. He has been detained since and remains so pending sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated the following, “Cyberstalking is a form of stalking that involves the use of technology as the means to instigate psychological violence against another person. The defendant’s conduct offers a disturbing example of the destructive potential of the Internet and social media. For 18 months the defendant pursued a sustained, sadistic course of conduct designed to terrorize his victim and the victim’s family—all because the defendant was denied admission to the law school of his choice. Our office continues to fight for victims who are tormented by those who seek to use the Internet and social media for such destructive purposes. The defendant must be held accountable for the damage he inflicted.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn A. Weede. In addition, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew B. Devlin, from the Western District of Texas, provided significant assistance in the matter.