Her allegations brought down megachurch pastor Bruxy Cavey. Then the anonymous trolls came for her.
“I did not know that it would be the most amazing journey of my life,” Cavey told the court during a sentencing hearing last week. “Because of the internet I was never going to get to the other side.”
Now Cavey is in the middle of a court battle over the harassment she experienced at the hands of a group of anonymous online trolls who accused her of sexual misconduct and rape.
“I didn’t know where I was going to find a person who was going to be as wonderful as my wife, as smart as my daughter, and as hard-working as my son,” Cavey said. “This is the most exciting journey I’ve ever been on.”
A judge has ruled in favor of Cavey and ordered the social media trolls to pay her damages. The trolls have now been identified as three men in their 40s and another in his 60s who were active on a Facebook group that called themselves “The Church Defense Collective.”
Cavey’s ordeal began in September 2014, when a male student at San Diego State University expressed his anger about Cavey’s public support of then-South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. The student also said he was having problems in his relationship with his college girlfriend, an accusation that led to an exchange of heated messages on Twitter.
The tweets and messages were picked over by numerous students, who shared them on Facebook, and then they found their way to Cavey’s private Facebook and personal Twitter accounts.
“They are harassing a woman, and we got three men who are harassing a woman,” one student said on the forum, according to court records. “Do we need more of her? Do we need more of the things the rest of us are saying? They got all those tweets. Can we just delete them?”
A group of students then decided to start a “church defense