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.
Vance’s lawsuit details a litany of the emails and posts Oliver sent to her or posted about her. The emails also employed racist language.
When police warned the defendant to back off on Sept. 21, 2021, Oliver reportedly reacted with an email that described COVID-19 vaccines as “murder and/or permanent injury” and further targeted Vance.
Miller similarly received a deluge of emails, according to the lawsuit.
Oliver only stopped after he was arrested on Sept. 29, 2021.
Vance and Miller are seeking general damages and aggravated and punitive damages for Oliver's 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.