“She’s ruining my name:” Fake online profiles haunt local woman 15 years after “prank”

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OAK CREEK  (WITI) — If you Google the name "Cheri Bronk," you'll see that she thinks Packers fans are the most obnoxious people in the world. She regularly uses the word "retarded." She calls people "idiots" and "morons" and "blonde bimbos." She writes that she's sick of lesbians and their "lesbo crap," and she sick and tired of black people playing the race card. She's also posted dozens of really hateful, negative online reviews of businesses. Oh, and she's a top commenter at FOX6Now.com.dark 1

But if you ask the real Cheri Bronk about all of these things, she gets pretty upset.

"I would never say any of that," she explains. "That doesn't represent my views at all — by any means."

That's because someone else is using her name online.

"She's ruining my name and it's wrong," Bronk says.

The real Cheri Bronk says she was recently searching the internet for a new gym when she ran across a disturbing online review.

"And I clicked on the review and it opened up and said my name," she says.

The review was written by someone her calls herself "Ltdarkstar" -- AKA Cheri Bronk. That's when it dawned on the real Cheri Bronk. She knew this name "Ltdarkstar."

"I remembered the name and I remembered the story," Bronk says.

The story dates back to 1998-1999. Cheri Bronk was driving her friends around town when they stopped at a red light and did a fire drill around the car.

"We were teenagers. We had our radio up, windows down and we were just having a good day and it was just funny," Bronk remembers. "We thought it was funny anyway."

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The real Cheri Bronk says she worries potential employers Googled her name and then didn't offer her jobs because of what was written online in her name.

The person driving in the car next to them, however, wasn't amused. She yelled at the teenagers and suspected they were drinking and driving. That's when one of the teens -- not Cheri -- mooned the other car.  Ltdarkstar wrote down the license plate.

"Sometime later I received a package in the mail that was addressed to my parents," Bronk recalls.

Ltdarkstar sent the Bronks a Christmas card -- an attempt to out their daughter for allegedly drunk driving.

"It was a homemade card with Santa Claus behind bars and it said, 'ho-ho-ho you are going to jail,'" Bronk said.

But Cheri says she and her friends had not been drinking, so they laughed it off.

"You just think, 'Wow. That was crazy.' And you just move on," Bronk said.

More than a decade later, though, Ltdarkstar still hasn't moved on. She's using the name Cheri Bronk all over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, emails and in online reviews.

"She's damaging my reputation. She is affecting my family, affecting my life. Who knows what else it is costing me and I don't even know," Bronk says.

The real Cheri Bronk called the FOX6 Investigators after police turned her away, saying no crime had been committed.

Police reports show the investigation is "suspended." The Waukesha County District Attorney's Office said they could not charge Ltdarkstar with anything because there's not enough proof she intended to harm the real Cheri Bronk's reputation.

"The amount of harm you can cause online is so much greater than it used to be," says Anuj Desai, a cyberlaw expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

A handful of states have passed online impersonation laws. In New York, California and Texas, you can go to jail for impersonating people online (if your goal was to harm the person you're pretending to be).

Wisconsin doesn't have an online impersonation law, but Desai says other laws, like identity theft, could come close to holding people like Ltdarkstar accountable.

"The prosecutor would have to put together a bunch of facts that suggest, or strongly suggest that the person wanted to harm the victim," Desai says.

Bronk, who has considered suing Ltdarkstar for defamation, says she feels like there should be consequences in cases like these, especially as she starts to worry these online posts might have been the reason she's missed certain job opportunities.

"I should be able to go to court and say 'this is what's happening'" Bronk says.

When the FOX6 Investigators tracked down Ltdarkstar to ask her why she's using the name Cheri Bronk, she said it started as a joke.

"I've only run into a Cheri Bronk one time and that was 15 years ago and I've been using it as a joke ever since," she said. "It's kind of an online moniker that makes everybody laugh." She says she laughs about the name and frequently uses it because, as she puts it, "It’s the internet. You’re supposed to be anonymous. Anybody that uses their real name on the internet is opening themselves up for trouble.”

When FOX6 News told Ltdarkstar the real Cheri Bronk was upset, and was afraid her family and friends would think she was racist or homophobic based on the online posts, Ltdarkstar didn't flinch.

"Well who the hell cares -- because there's a billion Cheri Bronks out there," she said. (Actually, in Wisconsin, there's only one). "It doesn’t matter what name I use. I wasn’t pretending to be her. I wasn’t pretending to be anybody. It could be anybody."

dark 2She went on to explain because of her online tirades, she once had a complete stranger contact her employer. That's why, she says, she now only uses fake names on the internet.

"It doesn't matter what name I use. I wasn't pretending to be her. I wasn't pretending to be anybody. Her name is not registered trademark. I can make whatever little fake identity online I want," she said.

Ltdarkstar agreed to remove all of the posts online if the real Cheri Bronk apologized to her for what happened all those years ago. Bronk did not apologize, but Ltdarkstar removed the posts last week, she said, "as a courtesy."

FOX6 News is not naming Ltdarkstar because, as of yet, she has not been charged with a crime. You can read her blogs here and here. She says from now on she'll use the name Sara Johnson on the internet. There are more than 3,500 people with that name in Wisconsin.

19 comments

  • justthefacts

    Honey I have an education but you seem to have a problem with letting things go if you are still using this persons name.

    • LtD

      It’s equally funny when salty little butt hurt people named Cheri feel it necessary to come into the comments section. Maybe find another hobby… how about you take out some more restraining orders since you seem to like them so much. ROTFL

    • LtD

      LOL Roscoe you’re so funny and a typical misguided lib. The vast majority of the accounts in question are 15 years old, most of them were fairly empty or test accounts. Where in any of them did I “Trash talk” her anywhere? Oh yes do tell, I’m very interested in this “Inside” knowledge you seem to have about something you don’t know anything about. Oh and you were able to Google something successfully? Yay for you! did you want a cookie?

  • Awww... ltdarkcrap

    MENTAL ALERT!!!! LTDARKSTAR needs help, read her blogs, anyone that could complain that much has issues.

  • Getrekt

    Sounds like you’re the troll. Maybe learn how to spell first and people will take you seriously. Fail troll is fail.

  • Zen

    Wait, LtDarkStar is not anonymous enough for her? Thanks Fox6 for confirming for me that the people who post so much of the negative things online are simply unhappy individuals that have nothing in their own lives to be proud of so they feel the need to attack others… Small wonder that she is also a Walker supporter!

    • Tryhardermoron

      If you you would have bothered reading the blog you would see most of these accounts are 15 years old and have absolutely nothing to do with Cheri. But yes, keep judging others incorrectly and listening to the bull that this libtard of a station puts out. The only sad person here is YOU for commenting on month-old news stories. Do you have a life? or a job? Seems like you need both.

Comments are closed.