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Harvard Student Shackled In Court To Face Bomb Hoax Charge

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Eldo Kim. (Harvard University Photo)

Eldo Kim. (Harvard University Photo)

BOSTON (CBS) — A Harvard student charged with causing Monday’s bomb scare on campus appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon.

Eldo Kim, 20, of Cambridge, was in U.S. District Court in South Boston for an initial appearance, a day after prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against him.

Read: Criminal Complaint Against Kim (.pdf)

He wore Harvard sweatpants and was shackled with his hands cuffed behind his back during the hearing.

The hearing was continued until later in the afternoon so attorneys for both sides could discuss alternatives to detention.  According to court proceedings, Kim denounced his citizenship from South Korea in fifth grade, when he became a citizen of the United States.

A judge ruled Kim free on $100,000 bond and released him to his uncle and sister. Kim will be allowed to return to Harvard to collect his belongings, but otherwise, may not return to the school.

Federal prosecutors say Kim emailed several bomb threats to Harvard offices Monday morning, just before final exams were about to begin.

Three academic buildings and a residence hall were evacuated, shut down and searched.

In the email, Kim allegedly wrote: “shrapnel bombs placed in science center, sever hall, emerson hall, thayer hall, 2/4. guess correctly. be quick for they will go off soon.”

No explosives were found and no one was hurt.

Kim was scheduled to take a final exam at 9 a.m. in Emerson Hall.

According to investigators, when he heard the alarms go off, “he knew his plan had worked.”

The threats drew investigators from the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the United States Secret Service; the Harvard University Police Department; the Cambridge Police Department; the Boston Police Department; and the Massachusetts State Police.

If convicted under the bomb hoax statute, Kim faces up to five years in prison.

According to Harvard’s website, Kim is a “freshman intending to concentrate in Psychology and pursue a secondary in Japanese.”

It also said:

“He is currently a research assistant for Professor Gary King in analyzing partisan taunting. On campus, Eldo writes for the Harvard International Review and dances as a member of the Harvard Breakers. In his free time, he enjoys playing pool, trying new restaurants, watching terrible cult films, and playing with his Mini Schnauzer puppy.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

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