A Berklee College of Music student, who is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston in connection with allegedly stalking and threatening an individual who posted fliers in support of democracy in China.
Xiaolei Wu, 25, was indicted on one count of cyberstalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication. Wu was previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint with one count of stalking on Dec. 13, 2022. Wu has lived in Boston while attending the Berklee College of Music.
According to the charging documents, on Oct. 22, 2022, an individual posted a flier on or near the Berklee College of Music campus in Boston which said, “Stand with Chinese People,” as well as, “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy.” It is alleged that, beginning on or about Oct. 22, 2022, and continuing until Oct. 24, 2022, Wu made a series of communications via WeChat, email, and Instagram directed towards the victim who posted the flier. Among other things, Wu allegedly said, “Post more, I will chop your bastard hands off.” He also allegedly told the victim that he had informed the public security agency in China about the victim’s actions and that the public security agency in China would “greet” the victim’s family. It is further alleged that Wu solicited others to find out where the victim was living and publicly posted the victim’s email address in the hopes that others would abuse the victim online.
The charge of cyberstalking provides for a sentence up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of interstate transmissions of threatening communication provides for a sentence up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts, Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI Boston Division made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy H. Kistner for the District of Massachusetts is prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by Trial Attorney Menno Goedman of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
A complaint is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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