A former college soccer player has been charged in federal court in Boston for sending death threats to at least 45 professional and collegiate athletes.
According to United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling's office, Addison Choi, 23, of Fullerton, California, was charged Wednesday with one count of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure the person of another. The incidents reportedly occurred between July and December 2017.
"There is a difference between free speech, even hate speech, and intentionally putting others in fear for their lives," Lelling said. "Mr. Choi crossed that line. Based on today's charging document, and hiding behind the anonymity of social media, he threatened his victims in graphically violent, often racist terms. We take seriously internet-based threats of violence, especially racist ones -- they undermine our nation's hard-won, fundamental values of equality."
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According to court documents, Choi attended the Wellesley college at the time he made the threats. Choi did a lot of sports gambling, betting on both college and professional sports. Officials say he lost more than he won, and when he lost, he used Instagram to send players and teams death threats.
Choi allegedly posted threats to at least 45 Instagram accounts, with multiple threats to each account and often multiple targets per threat, officials said.
Choi is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston at a later date. It is unclear if he has an attorney.