Broadcaster Jody Vance sues her online harasser

Broadcaster sues harasser

B.C. broadcaster Jody Vance is suing a man who recently pled guilty to charges of criminal harassment against her.

Vance is a fill-in host for local radio station CKNW and one-half of the CHEK TV talk show Steele and Vance, alongside former CKNW broadcaster Lynda Steele. The show recently featured a segment in which the two discussed a decision by the B.C. provincial court that sentenced Vance’s harasser to a conditional discharge.

A conditional discharge involves a year on probation, and if the person follows certain conditions, their criminal record is expunged. 

Vance and Steele, along with others on social media, have decried the sentence as beneath their expectations.

“What I want for change is for swift and meaningful consequences for others. I want deterrence,” Vance said on her show. “I want people like this man to know that you do this, and you will immediately have consequences for your actions. It’s time for our system to grow up.”

Vance and social media specialist Jesse Miller, another person who experienced part of the harassment, have filed a lawsuit against Richard Sean Oliver for harassing them.

Oliver’s harassment campaign against Vance spanned years, from 2015 to September 2021, while Miller was targeted between March 2020 and September 2021, according to the lawsuit. The campaign included hundreds of emails to Vance or Miller, often multiple in a day and often adding their colleagues or friends as recipients.

Oliver reportedly often used different email addresses switching to a new one when Vance blocked another, and often used offensive or sexualizing addresses like [email protected]

Vance’s lawsuit details a litany of the emails and posts Oliver sent to her or posted about her, including referring to Vance as “Jody BOLSHEVIK TRUMP HATING Vance” or “FAR LEFT WOKE JODY VANCE” and declaring her to be corrupt or a “gestapo snitch.”

The emails also employed racist language, calling Global News reporter Emily Lazatin “Emily Lazabrown – the brown supremacist” and referring to immigrants as “gimmegrants,” according to the lawsuit.

When police warned the defendant to back off on Sept. 21, 2021, Oliver reportedly reacted with an email calling the COVID-19 vaccines “murder and/or permanent injury” and saying Vance knew that “so well she sent her traitorous piece of shit NAZI police friends after me.”

Miller similarly received a deluge of emails, according to the lawsuit, including spreading misinformation about voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. election and saying that when Trump wins “and you ‘Big Tech’ communists are all put down like rabid dogs I am going to laugh so hard it might kill me,” reads one email, according to the lawsuit.

Oliver only stopped after he was arrested on Sept. 29, 2021.

The two are seeking general damages and aggravated and punitive damages for the harassment campaign and for defamation.

The lawsuit claims the two feared for their safety and that of their families, while also interfering with Vance’s work, as she declined public paid events and other freelance opportunities.

Oliver has not filed a response in court.

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