Nearly 4 Years in Jail for Admissions Cyberstalking

Rejected applicant to Georgetown law harassed the alumnus who interviewed him.

March 4, 2019

Ho Ka Terence Yung, who pleaded guilty in October to cyberstalking an alumni admissions interviewer for Georgetown University's law school, was sentenced last week to nearly four years in prison.

The case alarmed many in admissions, who fear they or their alumni interviewers could be vulnerable.

The judge in the case said that Yung's conduct constituted 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 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 the botched interview was not necessarily responsible.

But Yung apparently blamed the interviewer (who is identified as "Victim 1" in court papers). 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.

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 in October that Yung "is no longer a student here."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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