NJ man wins $50,000 defamation suit against imprisoned Jan. 6 rioter

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Days after Riley June Williams was arrested for entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, she filed a protection from abuse order against her ex-boyfriend, Michael Prodanov of Robbinsville.

He was the informant that led the FBI to Williams.

Williams, from Pennsylvania, was among the first batch of people arrested for storming the Capitol and, at 22 years old, one of the youngest. She bragged on social media, prior to her arrest, that she stole Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's laptop.

In 2022, a jury found her guilty of several crimes, putting her in prison for three years. And just last week, a New Jersey judge ordered her to pay $50,000 in damages to Prodanov for defamation.

According to the defamation suit Prodanov filed, Williams fled from authorities when video of the rioting showed her in the Capitol. Williams blamed her disappearance on Prodanov, claiming she had been "stalked and harassed" by him, according to his civil suit, and she filed a "spurious" Protection from Abuse Order against him.

One of her friends, Cyrus Sanders, was also named as a defendant in the defamation lawsuit because he repeated Williams' allegations on social media. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Hurd ordered that Sanders also pay $50,000 to Prodanov.

Williams was found guilty by a jury on Nov. 21, 2022, of interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers, both felonies, as well as four related misdemeanor offenses. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting in the theft of government property.

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This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Riley June Williams to pay $50,000 to ex-boyfriend for defamation