A Jasper man was handed a three-year prison sentence in federal court in Gainesville this week after his guilty plea in a case involving a bomb threat to a church pre-school.
In July 2019, Vinh Bao Chau, 23, pleaded guilty to charges of communicating a bomb threat to a church preschool, cyberstalking of a woman who refused to date him and interstate communication of a threat.
"Those who hide behind a computer screen to terrorize, intimidate and threaten other people using social media will be brought to justice," said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak in a statement released Monday. "The fact that this defendant called in a bomb threat which resulted in the evacuation of a church preschool is particularly appalling."
According to information presented in court, Chau began a campaign of terrorizing and harassing a local woman after he was rejected for a date in February 2017. 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.
Chau pleaded guilty to the crimes on July 8, 2019. In addition to the three-year prison term, Chau will spend three years on probation following his prison term.
"This prosecution is a great example of local, state and federal authorities working together to seek justice for Georgia citizens. This investigation spanned two judicial circuits in North Georgia, and we are grateful for the cooperation among investigators and prosecutors which led to this successful result," said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.
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.