The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

"Former Cornell Student Pleads Guilty to Posting Online Threats Against Jewish Students on Campus"


From the Justice Department Wednesday:

Patrick Dai, 21, formerly a junior at Cornell University and originally from Pittsford, New York, pleaded guilty today to posting threats to kill or injure another person using interstate communications….

As part of his guilty plea, Dai admitted that, on Oct. 28 and 29, 2023, he posted threatening messages to the Cornell section of an online discussion forum, including posts that said "gonna shoot up 104 west" (a dining hall at Cornell University that caters predominantly to Kosher diets and is next to the Cornell Jewish Center that provides residential accommodations for students) and "gonna bomb jewish house." In another post, Dai threatened to "stab" and "slit the throat" of any Jewish man he saw on campus, to rape and throw off a cliff any Jewish women he saw, and to behead any Jewish babies. In that same post, Dai threatened to "bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews."

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 12. Dai faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution to victims and a maximum of three years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

You can also see the Information (the charging document), the factual core of which is excerpted above, and the Plea Agreement.