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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 9, 2018

Newton Man Charged with 24 Additional Offenses Associated with Cyberstalking Former Housemate

New charges include distributing child pornography, making bomb threats, and identity theft

Boston - A Newton man, who was arrested and charged in October 2017 for conducting an extensive cyberstalking campaign against his former housemate, was charged today in federal court in Boston with an additional 24 offenses. 

Ryan S. Lin, 25, was charged with seven counts of cyberstalking; five counts of distribution of child pornography; nine counts of making hoax bomb threats; three counts of computer fraud and abuse; and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The conduct charged in October 2017 is incorporated into today’s charges. Specifically, from about May 2016 through Oct. 5, 2017, Lin engaged in an extensive cyberstalking campaign against a 24-year-old female victim, who was Lin’s former housemate. Lin allegedly hacked into the victim’s online accounts and devices and stole the victim’s private photographs, personally identifiable information, and private diary entries, which contained highly sensitive details about her medical, psychological and sexual history, and distributed the victim’s material to hundreds of people associated with her.

Lin also allegedly created and posted fraudulent online profiles in the victim’s name and solicited rape fantasies, including “gang bang” and other sexual activities, which in turn caused men to show up at the victim’s home. Lin engaged in a number of other activities targeting the female victim, including relentless anonymous text messaging and additional hoaxes, from shortly after he met her until October 2017.     

In addition to his former housemate, Lin allegedly engaged in cyberstalking activity aimed at six other individuals, some of whom were associated with the former housemate, and others who were entirely unrelated. The additional victims include a female victim that was Lin’s housemate in Newton at the time of his arrest. It is also alleged that on multiple occasions, Lin sent unsolicited sexually explicit images of prepubescent children to the victim’s mother, the victim’s co-worker and housemate, a friend of the victim who resided in New Jersey, and two of Lin’s former classmates in New York.

It is further alleged that Lin falsely and repeatedly reported to law enforcement that there were bombs at the victim’s Waltham residence. Lin also allegedly created a false social media profile in the name of the victim’s housemate in Waltham, posting that he was going to “shoot up” a school in a nearby town. These threats expanded beyond Waltham and became part of an extensive and prolonged pattern of threats to local schools, private homes, businesses, and other institutions in the broader community. 

Each count of cyberstalking provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $ 250,000. Each count of distribution of child pornography provides for a minimum sentence of five years and no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Each count of making hoax bomb threats provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Each count of computer fraud and abuse provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $ 250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan, of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; and Waltham Police Chief Keith MacPherson made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to thank the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and Watertown, Newton and Wellesley Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart, Chief of Lelling’s Cybercrime Unit, and Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case. 

The details contained in the charging document are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Identity Theft
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 9, 2018