Berklee student convicted of stalking, threatening advocate for China democracy

Berklee student convicted of stalking, threatening advocate for China democracy
via Chenwei Yao / Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
By Michelle De Pacina
January 30, 2024
Xiaolei Wu, a 26-year-old student at Berklee College of Music, was found guilty of cyberstalking and threatening an individual advocating for democracy in China.  
What happened: The victim posted a pro-democracy flier near the Berklee campus that read “We Want Freedom” and “Stand with Chinese People” last October. From Oct. 22 to 24, Wu reportedly used WeChat, Instagram and email to threaten the safety of the victim and their family.
Wu posted the victim’s email address online, reported them to a member of the Chinese government and encouraged others on the internet to harass the victim and locate their residence. “Post more, I will chop your bastard hands off,” Wu wrote in one message, according to a press release
Charges and conviction: Wu, a Chinese citizen, was arrested in December. On Jan. 10, he was convicted of one count of cyberstalking, one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication and one count of stalking after a four-day trial in a Boston federal court.
“No one in this country should ever be subjected to threats of violence or a cyberstalking harassment campaign for expressing their political views. Mr. Wu now stands as a convicted felon for his illegal efforts to suppress speech by a fellow Berklee School of Music student who was critical of the government of China. This type of conduct will never be tolerated,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement.
Possible sentence: Wu’s sentencing is scheduled for April 24. Each of his charges carries a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, along with three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
 
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