Michael Chan, 34, of Bayside, New York, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to cyberstalking.
According to the statement of facts submitted as part of the plea agreement, Chan met a female in 2009 while using online gaming. In 2012, he traveled from New York to Cincinnati to stay at her residence for approximately one week, during which time the victim made clear that the two were just friends and nothing more.
Later in 2012, Chan visited the victim uninvited and left notes throughout her house. He eventually began to text, call and Facebook message the victim all throughout the day and night. The victim then blocked Chan's phone number and social media accounts, at which point the victim began receiving anonymous calls and texts.
These anonymous messages continued for several more years. At the same time, the victim began receiving deliveries and subscriptions that she did not order.
In 2015, Chan began sending emails to local Cincinnati news media stating a subject was driving from Canada to Cincinnati to sexually assault and murder the victim. Later that year, the victim began receiving harassing and threatening emails. This continued through 2016 and she repeatedly reported the incidents to local authorities.
"Chan's concerning conduct escalated in March 2017, when he sent a text message to a local detective working on the matter and said that he was coming to a pay a visit to the victim and there was nothing the detective could do about it," said Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. "Chan indicated he was coming to Cincinnati to attack the victim on the University of Cincinnati campus. He sent threatening emails to University officials up through August 2017."
Chan was charged by a federal criminal complaint in August 2017 and indicted by a grand jury in September 2017.
The parties involved in this case have recommended a sentence of 27 months in prison followed by a three-year term of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott will consider this recommendation at a future sentencing hearing.
Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and University of Cincinnati Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Christy L. Muncy, who is representing the United States in this case.