First Revenge Porn Lawsuit Filed in New York City

A health professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) filed the first civil lawsuit under New York City’s “Revenge Porn” law, which was passed in November last year and went into effect in February. The professor, Dr. Spring Chenoa Cooper, alleges that her ex-boyfriend shared explicit images and videos of her online and linked the intimate material to her CUNY faculty page, in an attempt to harass her and destroy her career.

In her lawsuit, Cooper alleges that after ending a “tumultuous” relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Broems, in November, he began harassing her for weeks online by asking her invasive and inappropriate questions about her relationships and sex life. After blocking his text messages and social media accounts, she received a message from an unknown Tumblr account that demanded she provide intimate details of her life or else intimate pictures and videos of her would be posted online. After refusing the Tumblr user’s demands, intimate videos and pictures of her appeared on the user’s page. In the lawsuit, Cooper alleges that the Tumblr user is her ex-boyfriend Broems because he is the only person who received the explicit photographs and videos.

After filing a Temporary Restraining Order against Broems, the harassment continued on Twitter. Cooper alleges that blocking Broems only resulted in him creating alternate accounts. Eventually, Broems began posting the intimate photographs alongside her CUNY faculty profile on OK Cupid and Facebook profiles, according to the lawsuit.

According to Cooper, the pictures and videos have gone viral and she spends several hours each day blocking and reporting different users on multiple social media platforms. In addition to seeking criminal charges against Broems for posting the images and videos, Cooper also filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages for “severe emotional distress” and for “causing economic harm” to her career. Broems has denied all allegations against him and told the New York Post, “I literally had zero to do with that. I would never post anything like that of her online.”

Contact Information