ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Chinese national was sentenced to 60 months in prison for cyberstalking a female Minnesota college student, and a concurrent 54 months’ imprisonment sentence for stealing the victim’s identity as a part of his cyberstalking scheme, followed by three years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, between January 2020 and November 2021, Ki Cheung Yau, 28, created multiple online accounts on various websites, including social media platforms, dating websites and pornography websites, using the name, photos, and personally 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.
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.
On June 23, 2022, Yau pleaded guilty 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 December 16, 2022, before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Wright 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.” In imposing the statutory maximum sentence for cyberstalking, Judge Wright reflected on the impact of Yau’s cyberstalking on victims and told Yau, “The injuries you cause do not heal easily.”