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UCI Student Accused Of Sexual Assault, Extortion To Appear In Court

IRVINE (CBSLA) —A man suspected of trying to flee the country after being accused of sexual assault is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday on charges of sexually abusing an underage girl and then trying to blackmail her with video of the attack.

Gaoyang "Gary" Li, 20, was arrested last Friday at Los Angeles International Airport and detectives say he was trying to return to China. He was charged Tuesday with one count of oral copulation of an underage girl and two counts of delivery of a threatening letter with the intent to extort, all felonies.

Irvine police launched an investigation into Li on Jan. 29, after a 16-year-old girl reported Li was threatening to post embarrassing videos of her if she didn't give him money. The girl told detectives forced her to perform oral sex on Sept. 10, after they met on a Chinese dating app called Tan Tan and agreed to meet in person on WeChat.

Gary Li was arrested at UCI on Feb. 6. (credit: Irvine Police Department)

The girl filed the report when Li allegedly threatened to post video of the sexual assault on social media and send it to her friends in family, according to police, who say Li is also suspected in another sexual battery case.

Li was arrested at UCI on Feb. 6, but was released pending further investigation. When detectives discovered he planned to travel out of the country on Feb. 22, they found him and arrested him again. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Investigators say there may be more victims in this case. Anyone who has information about Li or believes they are a victim can call Detective Gavin Hudson at (949) 724-7168 or email

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