A former US college student has made her first court appearance to in a Boston court to face charges she encouraged her boyfriend to take his own life in what prosecutors describe as a toxic and abusive relationship.

Inyoung You, 21, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.

You didn't speak during the proceedings on Friday. She was taken into custody in handcuffs after the judge set her bail at $US5000 (NZ$7,800). Her lawyer Steven Kim said she would post bail immediately.

You, who was born in South Korea and is a naturalised US citizen, was also ordered to surrender her passport. Her trial date was set for November 2020. She also has a court date in January.

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Prosecutors say You and Alexander Urtula exchanged more than 75,000 texts in the last two months of their 18-month relationship, more than 47,000 of them sent by You.

They say You isolated Urtula from his friends, urged him to "go kill yourself" and called him "worthless" in a constant barrage of messages.

Mr Urtula died in Boston on May 20, the day of his Boston College graduation.

The 21-year-old will face trial next year. Photo / AP
The 21-year-old will face trial next year. Photo / AP

During You's arraignment, assistant prosecutor Caitlin Grasso said the two Boston College students met through the university's Filipino student society.

You, she said, became upset after learning Urtula was still communicating with an ex-girlfriend.

Ms Grasso read from some of the thousands of expletive-laden messages You sent to Urtula, many of them sent in a stream of one-word bursts and capital letters.

She also detailed how You forced Urtula to block his friends on social media and regularly monitored his location through his smartphone's GPS.

"The defendant became physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive," Ms Grasso said.

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The couple frequently talked about suicide, with You driving those conversations, she added.

Ms Grasso said Mr Urtula had no prior mental health issues but became afraid to leave You because she threatened to harm herself and blame him for it.

"These text messages demonstrate the power dynamic of the relationship," she said.

Alexander Urtula and Inyoung You during their 18-month relationship. Photo / Suffolk District Attorney's Office
Alexander Urtula and Inyoung You during their 18-month relationship. Photo / Suffolk District Attorney's Office

"The defendant and Urtula discussed how the defendant owned Urtula, how he was her slave, and how Urtula ceded his autonomy to the defendant as a condition of the relationship."

Earlier this week, You, through a public relations firm, released text messages suggesting she tried to stop Mr Urtula and alerted Mr Urtula's brother in the moments before his death.

The judge issued an order on Friday preventing You's lawyers from releasing more information to the public.

You's legal team released text messages to the Boston Globe that, according to the publication, reveal the 21-year-old saying "please" more than 100 times as she allegedly tried to stop her partner of 18 months from ending his own life.

This case drew immediate comparisons to the high-profile case of Michelle Carter and her boyfriend Conrad Roy.

Ms Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison earlier this year after she was found guilty of pressuring her boyfriend to take his own life in 2014.

Ms Carter's lawyers maintained her texts were constitutionally protected free speech.

Her conviction in 2017 was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, but has been appealed to the US Supreme Court, which hasn't yet decided whether it will take up the case.

A new law called Conrad's Bill is before Government in the US now which will make encouragement of suicide punishable by up to five years.

Transcript of alleged texts:

excuse me why is ur location not available.

what are u doing. where the f*** are you... are you kidding, really? you really turned your location off you were being sus as f***when u left i knew u were gonna go f*****g see them

u thought u were being sly about it

u think I'm that DUMB? u turn ur location off at a time where it's not even POSSIBLE that u made it to the parking lot then

I'm not talking to anyone. I won't ever again. I'm happy I got to spend my last night with you. I love you inyoung until my last breath.

then WHERE ARE YOU

YOU DON'T REAPOND TO ANTHINF

I ASKED U WHY UR LOCATIONCWASNT AVAILABLE

ARE U KIDDING ME

that's all you f****** say?

I'm not gonna be anywhere inyoung this is goodbye forever. I love you. This isn't your fault it's mine.

what
whAT
UR LEAVING ME

I'm far away on a tall place and I'm not gonna be here for long

I'm leaving everyone.

ALEX

WHAT SRE YOU F****** DOING.

IF U F****** LOVE ME STOP

'IF U EVER F****** LOVED ME STOP

I did love you just not well enough.

UR GONNA F****** LEAVE ME TO NOTHING

Good bye.

STOP

You'll have everything once I'm gone.

PLWASE STOp. Talk to me. STOP. STOP. PLESEE

IM CRYING PLEASE

PICK UP

PLEASE

JUST PICK UP

DON'T LEAVE ME LIKE THAT

IF U EVER LOVED ME STOP

IF YOU WANNA SHOW ME U LOVE ME STOP

please pick up

talk to me please

WHY DO U NEVER TALK TO ME

STOP

what ARE YOU DOING

PLEASE

STOP

I F****** LOVE U U CANT LEAVE ME LIKE THIS

alex

alex

please

alex i love you please

please I'm sorry

i'm so sorry please

plesee

TALK TO ME I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME

I THOUGHT U [expletive] LOVED ME PLEASE

WHY ARE U LDING THIS

PLEASE

please talk to me

plesee I'll come

please

DID U F****** BLOCK ME

PLEASE

please alex

alex

PLEASE

i love you so much please

please listen to me please

please

listen to me please

I LOVE YOU ALEX

IM NOT GONNA LOVE ANYBODU ELSE

PLEASE

PLEASE

please baby

i love you so much

please stop please

please baby please stop i love you

i love you so f****** much i'm so sorry please

please be with me and love me forever please plesee please

i love you so much please

please baby please pick up

I LOVE YOU PLEASE PICK UP

PLEASE

IM VEGGING YOU I f****** LOVE YOU

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

I LOVE YOU AND ONLY UOU PLEASE PLEASE ALEX PLEASE

IM BEGGING YOU

PLEASE

please baby please

i'm begging you please i f****** LOVE YOU

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.

If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.​