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A New York court has ordered a Brooklyn comedian to pay out a whopping $30 million to his City University of New York professor ex-girlfriend for a yearslong revenge porn campaign in what her attorney calls the largest verdict awarded for such a case in the state’s history.

Spring Chenoa Cooper, 43, told Fox News Digital that she does not expect to see a dime of the settlement from her ex-boyfriend Ryan Broems – regardless, she said on Friday, the precedence the landmark verdict sets for future victims is what matters.

“I hope that people see this and realize that there are paths to justice and also that the public does view this as something that isn’t acceptable,” Cooper said. “[Being victimized] is not something that you should be ashamed about, [and non-consensually sharing intimate images] is not something that you can hide from.”

Broems did not show up in court when the verdict was announced on Friday and did not hire an attorney to represent him, Cooper’s attorney, Cali Madia of Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, told Fox News Digital.

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Ryan Broems was ordered to pay $30 million in restitution to his ex-girlfriend Spring Cooper after he admitted to proliferating her nude images and videos online without her consent. (Spring Chenoa Cooper)

When Cooper broke up with Broems in 2017 after a tumultuous yearlong relationship, according to court documents, he began sending her a barrage of Snapchat videos of himself masturbating and messages demanding to know intimate sexual details of her life. 

Cooper thought the worst of her ordeal was over when she blocked him – until she received a menacing message from the Tumblr handle Calidaddy26 with the threat “I know who you are, be my personal webslut, or I’ll post you on my slut-exposing blog.”

She ignored the message, and said that soon afterward, strangers began reaching out to tell her that they had seen her nude images and videos posted alongside personal information like her name, employer, title, social media pages and contact information.

“In those moments, my life would stop,” Cooper recalled in her sworn testimony. “No matter where I was, who I was with or what my plans were for the day, my focus needed to immediately be finding the content and advocating for its removal because, as I came to learn, the longer the content is allowed to remain online, the more it will propagate.” 

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Cooper said that she hopes the landmark settlement makes “a  strong statement to make sure that people don’t commit this crime.” (Spring Chenoa Cooper)

“I cannot begin to tally the number of people who contacted me to tell me they had seen my naked body and share whatever unsolicited comment about it or their perception of me that popped into their head,” she recalled. 

She successfully filed for a restraining order against Broems – but her nude photos continued to appear online, and the self-styled comedian would take to Twitter to mock her.

“My ex is such a romantic,” he wrote in one of several messages directed at Cooper in 2018. “She just had my Valentine’s Day card hand-delivered by the police and it read: ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue, Please always keep 500ft between me and you.” 

“Sometimes your ex puts you in handcuffs, and not in a hot way,” he wrote in another post after Cooper had contacted police about another post of her images.

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Spring Cooper and Ryan Broems

Ryan Broems and Spring Cooper dated for about a year before her nude images began repeatedly appearing online. “I thought I really knew him, and he maliciously posted over and over and posted my contact details,” Cooper told Fox News Digital. “It does make you question your ability to really trust people.” (Spring Chenoa Cooper)

Despite many successful pleas to Tumblr and other online venues to take the images down, new ones popped up at least 11 times, with Cooper recalling 2018 as “the year of revenge porn,” she told Fox News Digital. 

Until she filed a civil suit in April 2018, Cooper said Friday, the proliferation of her images showed no sign of slowing.

“He knew that the police would not be able to find any evidence on him,” Cooper said. “The police don’t have the ability to research internet crimes – they don’t have the evidence to hold him.” 

Cooper’s was the first civil suit to be filed under New York City’s revenge porn statute. Under the law, victims can sue for money damages, legal fees and injunctions to block postings. The statute’s criminal component provides for up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for people who commit the crime.

In criminal court, Broems pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of disclosure of an intimate image in 2021 and was given a no-jail sentence of 26 weeks attending a program for abusive partners, according to court records. 

In court, Broems would gripe that the accusations against him ruined his life, complaining that “no one wants to hire that guy,” according to the New York Post. 

However, in light of Cooper’s suffering, the criminal charge was not enough.

“I was never allowed a day in court and was never able to confront him for what he had done to me… [he] paid no fines and served no jail time for what he did… while [he] has been allowed to move on with his life, I… continue to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of fear,” Cooper said in her testimony.

At the time, Cooper feared that she would lose her tenured position as an associate professor of health and social sciences at CUNY. Although she kept her position and has used her experience to inform her studies, Cooper said that she hopes her all-too-common ordeal helps others learn how to properly support victims of “cyber sexual assault.” 

“What I first want everyone to understand is that a cyber sexual assault is a sexual assault,” Cooper said Friday. “The mental and emotional things that people go through are the same. I want society to know that and take it seriously. That’s how the survivors will be able to come out and access support. When other people around them don’t know that or victim blame or aren’t able to recognize what this is, the survivors aren’t able to get the support they need.”

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An American Psychological Association study conducted in 2020 estimates that one in 12 adults will be the victim of non-consensual pornography – or revenge porn – in their lifetime. 

Cooper has also joined New York’s Cyber Abuse Task Force and said that her own research indicates that victims who engage in some sort of advocacy are more likely to emotionally recover from their trauma in these types of cases. 

Fox News Digital was unable to reach Broems or an attorney who represented him in his criminal case for comment at press time.



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