Oh boy it’s another totally unedited blog post about my legal proceedings because apparently I don’t learn!
Last time I wrote about my legal entanglement with Eron Gjoni, the man who started GamerGate after I walked away from him, it was after asking the DA to drop the criminal harassment charges that the state wanted to bring against him.
I touched on the ongoing appeals process for the restraining order, and how it ironically tied me to my abuser even more, and became another tool for him to control my life and send the mob after me. The detective on my case had warned me that this might be an outcome with someone as chronically abusive as he is. While I had successfully persuaded the DA to drop criminal charges because the courts involvement was making everything worse, his appeal was still going. Despite his flat out refusal to abide by it (he actually started actively siccing people on my partner at the time immediately afterward), and despite my move to vacate my own restraining order to get him to finally fuck off, he was determined to milk it for everything he could – both the attention from GamerGate, the renewed harassment against me and my family, and the money he was soliciting.
What this meant for me is that for the last year or so, despite having relocated and completely reorganized my life to keep him and his new friends away from me, I’d have to deal with the legal proceedings. This essentially turned this man I had spent two years trying to get away from into a pop-up ad in my life. This is really bad news for someone with PTSD who has to take pills to stop having nightmares about their abuser. It constantly interrupted any kind of recovery or closure I could make for myself, and a call from a lawyer about some new bullshit he was pulling, or a flood of gross links to his diatribes on Kotaku in Action from his new best friends in my mentions would hamstring whatever I was trying to do. Just before I had to take the stage at XOXO, I had to talk with my lawyers about asinine legal moves that he was pulling. I was on the other side of the country and I still couldn’t get away from him.
I’ve been in a holding pattern since the appeals court heard oral arguments on a restraining order that had not only been destroyed, but would have already expired on it’s own months prior. My pro-bono counsel was optimistic, since the courts seemed to see that my ex was using them as a talking point since he had long since had any legal relief they could have granted him. I was told to expect a phone call, probably, in the next 3 months, though sometimes courts take longer. I’ve been holding my breath ever since.
The good news is that it’s finally over. The courts ruled that I acted within my rights, and dismissed his appeal as moot. I had gone into this asking that the court drop this and let me move on with my life, and they reassured my legal right to do so. My ex wanted to use me to set first amendment case law – what happened was a ruling that reassured the rights of domestic violence survivors to modify and terminate their restraining orders if they’re causing more harm than good. This was the outcome I wanted – not just for myself, but for anyone else that’s tried whatever they could to get away from their abuser without fully realizing how the legal system might make everything worse.
Quoth the court:
“We agree with
Quinn’s argument that this rule does not apply in the sui
generis context of c. 209A abuse prevention orders. Pursuant to
statute, an abuse prevention order that has been issued can be
modified “at any subsequent time.” … This provision serves to
protect victims of abuse by allowing them to tailor the terms of
abuse prevention orders as (often rapidly) developing
circumstances may warrant… “A victim of [domestic] abuse is
in the best position to decide what course of action will
provide more safety. At a given time, an abuse prevention order
might exacerbate the plaintiff’s danger”. With the parties
having a recognized statutory right to seek modification of
existing orders, it follows that a pending appeal of a 209A
order does not deprive the trial court of its ability to modify
The courts found the “deluge of harassment” to be “uncontested”, that despite my ex’s constant bullshit claims “nothing in the record suggests that Quinn committed a fraud on
the court”, and that my ex still has to obey court orders even if he doesn’t agree with them.
I’ve uploaded the court’s opinion here. It’s not too heavy on the legalese, and has a pretty good tl;dr of this last of the legal battles.
Naturally, his fan club is trying to spin this as a win because of a single footnote that lower courts should generally care about free speech, despite the court stating that the entire appeal is moot. I find my ex and his ilk clinging to a single footnote as a victory in a 12 page document detailing his complete failure to be nothing more an apt metaphor for his role in the last two years.
They’re trying to claim it a a loss because I’m choosing to walk away from a legal battle that hasn’t protected me, but an end to this is all I’ve ever wanted from the beginning.
I cut contact with Eron because I wanted an abusive creep out of my life, so he launched GamerGate. I didn’t retaliate against him because I wanted an abusive creep out of my life, so he invaded every digital space that I occupied to spread his hate & yell at my friends and fans. I got a restraining order because I wanted an abusive creep out of my life, so he used it to solicit funds from GamerGate while promising them more nonsense about me while “joking” in their raid IRCs about breaking into my house while I couldn’t go home. I dropped charges and gave up on having to see or hear him ever again because I wanted an abusive creep out of my life, and he doubled down in spite of that.
Now that the courts have said “no thank you”, I’m hoping that this is finally the end, and that maybe we *both* can move on with our lives. I’m hoping that I finally have the abusive creep out of my life, even if it won’t undox my friends and family, cure my ptsd, undo the harm caused to my friends and the industry, or fix the fact that to this day, strangers still claim that I fucked a writer at a press outlet that I *already had written for* simply to obtain coverage (that never existed) of a free game about mental health.
But it’s a pretty fuckin big milestone in the healing process.
By all signs, this marks the end of nearly two years of having to bag and tag my ex’s abuse against me for courts, judges, and law enforcement officers who have a loose understanding (at best) of what they’d even be looking at, and a seeming lack of resources to obtain any of that themselves. I don’t have to plan my life around court dates anymore, or get calls about what new stunt the man who ruined my life is pulling this time that I absolutely have to respond to or face legal repercussions. That alone is a tremendous weight off my shoulders. The Abusive Ex Popup Ad feature on my life is hopefully disabled – or at least this aspect of it is. His abuse is still a perpetual motion machine, and the threats and harassment is still the background noise of my life and likely always will be. I still have a way to go before I’m what I’d consider out of the woods, both in terms of unfucking my personal situation, healing the mental and emotional scars the last two years have left, and fully being able to talk about GamerGate in a past tense way. Creep Throat can still file for additional appeals, and after the last two years I’m not going to assume anything is impossible.
I can’t unfuck the last two years, not for me or anyone else he’s hurt. But this is at least one win. This is regaining control over my life and being able to finally ignore bargain bin Kilgrave. This is me being able to joke about how shitty my ex is without being afraid of how his lawyers will use it to justify what he’s done to me as they have previously. This is reaffirming the rights of domestic violence victims to walk the fuck away when they choose to. This means more energy for Crash Override and my ridiculous comedy games and the people I love.
Finally, I can move on from this ridiculous legal battle and focus on my energy on my ridiculous unicorn smut games.
What more could I possibly want?
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