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Idaho killings: Professor Rebecca Scofield sues TikToker Ashley Guillard


Ashley Guillard claims she is aware of who killed 4 College of Idaho college students in a grisly crime that has shocked the nation and stumped police. Her supply of data? Tarot card readings.

In scores of movies posted to her TikTok account, the self-styled psychic unwinds a weird and baseless concept that the chair of the college’s historical past division orchestrated the killings after a romantic entanglement with one of many college students. She shared the professor’s {photograph} and branded her the killer in TikTok movies which have been seen 2.5 million instances.

Now the historian on the middle of Guillard’s allegations, Rebecca Scofield, has filed a defamation lawsuit towards her. The lawsuit, which follows two cease-and-desist letters despatched to the TikToker, says the claims have upended Scofield’s life, broken her status and put her and her household’s security in danger.

“Professor Scofield has by no means met Guillard,” says the grievance filed Wednesday in Idaho District Courtroom. “She doesn’t know her. She doesn’t know why Guillard picked her to repeatedly falsely accuse of ordering the tragic murders and being concerned with one of many victims. Professor Scofield does know that she has been harmed by the false TikToks and false statements.”

The Moscow Police Division has not recognized any suspects within the killings of Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20. The 4 are believed to have been asleep when somebody entered the off-campus home and attacked them within the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Police say they had been stabbed to dying with a fixed-blade knife; a weapon has not been recovered, and a motivation has not been publicly recognized.

Police say goal in Idaho killings stays unknown amid confusion

Rampant hypothesis has surrounded the killings since they grew to become public, with a lot of it unfolding on-line. The Moscow Police Division maintains a “rumor management” part on its web site and has decried the unfold of misinformation.

“There may be hypothesis, with out factual backing, stoking neighborhood fears and spreading false information,” the Moscow Police Division mentioned in a Dec. 2 information launch. Per week later, the division warned on Fb that folks harassing or threatening these doubtlessly concerned with the case may face felony expenses. Police had obtained 15,000 ideas relating to the case as of Saturday.

Scofield’s lawsuit accuses Guillard of searching for to learn from the massive curiosity within the case, with the grievance charging that she has “determined to make use of the neighborhood’s ache for her on-line self-promotion.”

Guillard, a Texas resident whose TikTok bio reads “Ashley is God,” informed The Washington Put up that she acquired into tarot card studying after what she referred to as a “non secular journey” round 2015. She mentioned that after a follower requested her to look into the Idaho killings, she did a studying that “was alluding to a trainer being concerned.”

The playing cards then led her to the phrase “historical past.” She pulled up the College of Idaho’s historical past division web site and noticed Scofield on the prime of the web page. One other studying informed her the historical past chair was concerned, Guillard mentioned. That was that — she was satisfied. She informed a Put up reporter to not dismiss card studying as hypothesis.

“Having my reward or my potential, I do know what I do know,” she mentioned.

She began posting her claims Nov. 24, utilizing Scofield’s college picture and saying repeatedly — and with none proof — that she had ordered the scholars’ killings as a result of she didn’t need folks to search out out that she was in a same-sex relationship with one of many victims.

The lawsuit calls that declare “false.”

“As Guillard’s statements contain ethical turpitude, a professor being concerned with a scholar, they’re per se defamatory in nature,” it says.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial, attorneys’ charges, and compensatory and punitive damages.

Scofield is an Idaho native and Harvard-educated historian who has spent her profession highlighting the customarily ignored range of the American West, creating an audio historical past of homosexual rodeo and writing a ebook referred to as “Outriders: Rodeo on the Fringes of the American West.” She mentioned within the lawsuit that she had by no means taught the 4 college students and couldn’t recall ever assembly them. On the weekend of the killings, she and her husband had been in Portland visiting associates, she mentioned.

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Since discovering herself on the middle of Guillard’s allegations, she has put in a safety system at her house, fearing that somebody may hurt her or her relations. She worries that her status has additionally been affected; the lawsuit says the TikTok movies led to her title being linked to “homicide” in a primary web search.

“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and easy,” one in all her attorneys, Wendy Olson, mentioned in a press release. “What’s even worse is that these unfaithful statements create issues of safety for the Professor and her household. In addition they additional compound the trauma that the households of the victims are experiencing and undermine regulation enforcement efforts to search out the folks accountable as a way to present solutions to the households and the general public.”

Guillard remained defiant within the face of the lawsuit, returning to TikTok to publish extra movies about Scofield, at instances calling her “Killer Rebecca.” She described the swimsuit as “measly” and mentioned she was excited to “current my concepts in court docket.”

She informed The Put up that she isn’t nervous about being sued, that “time will inform and I’m prepared to take the danger.” She has not employed an legal professional.

“I’m going to maintain posting. I’m not taking something down,” she mentioned. “If within the alternate universe, if I used to be fallacious, that is an open and shut case. I did say she ordered the execution of the 4 College of Idaho college students. I’m nonetheless posting. I’ve mentioned numerous issues about her. I’m not going to cease. If I’m such a liar, I’m so fallacious about it, then in court docket she is going to win.”

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