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A federal court hearing last week exposed the real-life nightmare faced by an unnamed alumni interviewer for the law school at Georgetown University. It wasn't just that a rejected applicant blamed the alumni interviewer for not getting in, but he engaged in steadily escalating harassment of the interviewer and his family. A federal judge in the case called what happened a “protracted, elaborate, and brutal effort to engage in the online destruction of an innocent victim and his family.”

The following details come from a summary of the case released by the prosecutors. The problems started in 2014, when Ho Ka Terence Yung applied to Georgetown and had an alumni interview. The interview didn't go well and resulted in a recommendation that Georgetown reject Yung. The university subsequently did so, although many factors could have been at play, and it's not necessarily the case that the botched interview was responsible.

But Yung apparently blamed the interviewer (who is identified as "Victim 1" in court papers). And soon after Yung was rejected, he started to publish online what federal prosecutors called "violent and sadistic statements" about the interviewer, including posts that accused him of rape, lynching and child molestation. One false story described how the interviewer was involved in the abduction of an 8-year-old girl from an elementary school.

Authorities said that Yung also directly endangered the interviewer's family by posting personal ads on Craigslist to invite people to go to the interviewer's home in the middle of the night. One ad, posted by Yung as a fictional "cute blond hottie" said in part: "i need a big strong man to dominate me tonight … i like it when a man puts his hand around my throat and threatens me with a knife … then you pull my hair and take out your gun and threaten me … i’m a bad girl, and I need to be punished by a big strong man. send me a picture with you holding your gun. all others will be ignored."

The day after that ad was posted, police found a man outside the interviewer's home, looking for the interviewer's wife, whom the man thought had posted the Craigslist ad.

David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said he had not heard of similar revenge acts or threats against admissions interviewers. He said most discussion of the role focuses on making sure that such interviewers adhere to high ethical standards.

Federal authorities spent 18 months investigating the harassment of the interviewer before an arrest was made. Yung has been detained ever since. In court last week, he pleaded guilty to cyberstalking. He will be sentenced in February.

Yung's harassment of the interviewer continued even as he was admitted and enrolled at a highly respected law school, that of the University of Texas at Austin.

A spokesman for the Texas law school said that Yung "is no longer a student here."

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