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Judge sides with 'troll storm' victim in case against neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer

A federal judge recommends that publisher Andrew Anglin pay more than $14 million in damages.

gersh-tanya

Tanya Gersh has been the target of online harassment since December 2016.

Dan Chung

A federal magistrate judge has recommended that Andrew Anglin, publisher of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, pay more than $14 million in damages for organizing an anti-Semitic "troll storm" against Montana real estate agent Tanya Gersh. Judge Jeremiah Lynch called Anglin's conduct "egregious and reprehensible" and said Anglin should be ordered to remove any posts from the Daily Stormer that encourage readers to contact Gersh and her family.

Lynch's recommendation was issued Monday and still has to be approved by US District Judge Dana Christensen, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represented Gersh in the case. A decision is expected after 14 days.

"A clear message has been sent to Anglin and other extremists: No one should be terrorized for simply being who they are, and no one should ever be afraid for being who they are," Gersh said in a release from the SPLC on Monday. "This lawsuit has always been about stopping others from enduring the terror I continue to live through at the hands of a neo-Nazi and his followers, and I wanted to make sure that this never happens to anyone else."

Gersh, who is Jewish, filed a lawsuit against Anglin in April 2017 accusing him of invading her privacy, intentionally inflicting emotional distress and violating Montana's Anti-Intimidation Act by organizing more than 700 instances of harassment since December 2016.

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Anglin initiated his attack against Gersh in December 2016 after she was accused of bullying Sherry Spencer, the mother of alt-right leader Richard Spencer, into selling her property. Anglin encouraged his readers to participate in "an old fashioned Troll Storm" and tell Gersh what they thought of her "Jew agenda." He published her address, telephone number and Twitter handle, as well as contact information for her husband and the Twitter handle of her son.

Anglin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the judge's recommendation.

Earlier this year, Anglin also lost a case brought by Sirius XM radio host Dean Obeidallah. In August 2017, Obeidallah, who is Muslim, sued after a Daily Stormer post said Obeidallah had masterminded a bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Obeidallah was awarded $4.1 million.