Now the historian on the middle of Guillard’s allegations, Rebecca Scofield, has filed a defamation lawsuit in opposition to her. The lawsuit, which follows two cease-and-desist letters despatched to the TikToker, says the claims have upended Scofield’s life, broken her popularity and put her and her household’s security in danger.
“Professor Scofield has by no means met Guillard,” says the criticism 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 roommates are believed to have been asleep when somebody entered their off-campus home and attacked them within the early morning hours of Nov. 13. Police say they had been stabbed to demise with a fixed-blade knife; a weapon has not been recovered, and a motivation has not been publicly recognized.
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 details,” the Moscow Police Division said in a Dec. 2 news release. Every week later, the division warned on Fb that folks harassing or threatening these doubtlessly concerned with the case could face criminal charges. Police had obtained 15,000 tips relating to the case as of Saturday.
Scofield’s lawsuit accuses Guillard of looking for to learn from the large curiosity within the case, with the criticism 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,” instructed The Washington Submit that she obtained into tarot card studying after what she referred to as a “religious journey” round 2015. She stated that after a follower requested her to look into the Idaho killings, she did a studying that “was alluding to a instructor 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 high of the web page. One other studying instructed her the historical past chair was concerned, Guillard stated. That was that — she was satisfied. She instructed a Submit reporter to not dismiss card studying as hypothesis.
“Having my present or my means, I do know what I do know,” she stated.
She began posting her claims Nov. 24, utilizing Scofield’s college photograph 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 pupil, 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 often overlooked diversity of the American West, creating an audio historical past of homosexual rodeo and writing a e-book referred to as “Outriders: Rodeo on the Fringes of the American West.” She stated 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 pals, she stated.
Since discovering herself on the middle of Guillard’s allegations, she has put in a safety system at her residence, fearing that somebody might hurt her or her relations. She worries that her popularity 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,” considered one of her attorneys, Wendy Olson, stated 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 legislation enforcement efforts to search out the folks accountable so as to present solutions to the households and the general public.”
Guillard remained defiant within the face of the lawsuit, returning to TikTok to submit extra movies about Scofield, at occasions calling her “Killer Rebecca.” She described the swimsuit as “measly” and stated she was excited to “current my concepts in courtroom.”
She instructed The Submit that she isn’t fearful about being sued, that “time will inform and I’m keen to take the danger.” She has not employed an legal professional.
“I’m going to maintain posting. I’m not taking something down,” she stated. “If within the alternate universe, if I used to be unsuitable, 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 stated a variety of issues about her. I’m not going to cease. If I’m such a liar, I’m so unsuitable about it, then in courtroom she’s going to win.”