A man living in north Georgia has been sentenced in federal court for his acts of cyberstalking and making a bomb threat against a preschool.
Vinh Bao Chau was sentenced this week for “communicating a bomb threat to a church preschool, cyberstalking of a woman who refused to date him, and interstate communication of a threat,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported Tuesday.
“Those who hide behind a computer screen to terrorize, intimidate and threaten other people using social media will be brought to justice,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in a news release. “The fact that this defendant called in a bomb threat which resulted in the evacuation of a church preschool is particularly appalling.”
“This case is a testament to the value of federal partnerships with state and local law enforcement; all of whom are committed to bringing those to justice who seek to strike fear into communities through the use of terroristic threats. The defendant in this case made a threat to destroy a preschool with an improvised explosive device, and persistently cyberstalked and threatened a victim in multiple jurisdictions,” acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama also said.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: In February of 2017, Vinh Bao Chau began a campaign of terrorizing and harassing a local woman after he was rejected for a date. Chau created fake social media accounts, which he then used to send hundreds of messages to the victim threatening to kill her and harm her in gruesome ways. He also harassed her through repeated telephone calls and text messages. Chau then called in a bomb threat on March 7, 2017, to the victim’s place of employment, a church preschool. The investigation revealed Chau was the perpetrator of both the harassing messages and bomb threat, and was then arrested.
Vinh Bao Chau, 23, of Jasper, Georgia, has been sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story to three years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Chau has been convicted on these charges on July 8, 2019, after he pleaded guilty.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, and Jasper Police Department investigated this case.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Pfister prosecuted the case.