A Chinese national was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for cyberstalking a female Minnesota college student, and a concurrent 54-month prison sentence for stealing the victim’s identity as a part of his cyberstalking scheme, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger last week.
According to court documents, between January 2020 and November 2021, Ki Cheung Yau, 27, created multiple online accounts on various websites, including social media platforms, dating websites, and pornography websites, using the name, photos, and personal identifying information of the victim.
Yau used these accounts to communicate with strangers on the internet while posing as the victim. Yau falsely portrayed the victim on social media, dating, and sexually focused websites as a young woman soliciting submissive or violent sexual relationships, including a desire to engage in racially oriented submissive sexual conduct.
Yau then communicated with strangers online and tried to help them locate the victim and follow through on his invitations for dominating and violent sexual encounters.
According to court documents, on two separate occasions in January 2021, a man went to the victim’s residence and asked for the victim by name, presumably because he believed he was meeting the victim for a sexual encounter.
Also, Yau’s cyberstalking resulted in strangers directly messaging the victim in response to explicit accounts and posts made by Yau posing as the victim. Further, the victim’s family and friends’ names, photos, and contact information were also included in Yau’s stalking scheme. The victim was forced to move to a new residence and change her phone number.
Yau pleaded guilty in June to one count of cyberstalking and one count of identity theft. As part of his plea agreement, Yau admitted to cyberstalking seven additional victims outside of Minnesota, in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom from 2017 to 2021.
Yau was sentenced on Dec. 16, 2022, before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright who imposed the statutory maximum sentence for cyberstalking against Yau. Judge Wright referenced the impact on the lives of Yau’s victims at his sentencing and stated that Yau’s “actions are predatory and purely evil,” showing “a disregard for the safety and well-being of the victims and disregard for the law.”
Federal inmates must serve a minimum of 85% of their sentence incarcerated, unlike Minnesota state sentencing which only requires offenders to serve two-thirds of their sentence incarcerated.
Yau’s prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
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