A professor on the College of Idaho has filed a defamation lawsuit final week in opposition to the web persona Ashley Guillard, who alleged to have solved the distinguished homicide circumstances and whose TikTok movies have repeatedly alleged that the college’s historical past division chair was concerned within the fatal stabbings of four students final month.
Rebecca Scofield is an writer and assistant professor of historical past on the college specializing in gender, sexuality and the American West, amongst different matters, in keeping with her website. Final week, she filed the federal criticism in Idaho’s district courtroom in search of a jury trial together with reimbursement for all relevant authorized charges, whereas accusing Guillard of spreading false narratives about Scofield’s connection to the deceased faculty college students and the unsolved quadruple homicide.
Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, have been killed on the second and third flooring of the ladies’s rental residence close to campus in Moscow, Idaho, in the course of the early hours of Nov. 13, as two surviving roommates apparently slept downstairs, officers on the Moscow Police Division have mentioned. Though the native police drive, in coordination with state and federal regulation enforcement businesses, have recognized and shared some particulars in regards to the occasions immediately previous the grotesque crime, none of their publicized leads have confirmed substantive to this point.
With out an recognized suspect or an arrest made, the continuing nationwide highlight on the mysterious murder case has given rise to widespread speculation, theories and rumors about how and why the murders occurred, in addition to who could be accountable. Many of the conjecture has emerged and spiraled on social media — one thing that, Scofield alleges, Guillard used for her personal benefit to the detriment of the professor and her popularity.
“Defendant Ashley Guillard—a purported web sleuth—determined to make use of the group’s ache for her on-line self-promotion,” the lawsuit states, noting that Guillard, whereas working the comparatively common account @ashleyisinthebookoflife, “posted many movies on TikTok falsely stating that Plaintiff Rebecca Scofield (a professor on the College) participated within the murders as a result of she was romantically concerned with one of many victims.”
Wendy Olson, one of many attorneys representing Scofield, referred to as Guillard’s claims about her shopper “false, plain and easy,” in an announcement to CBS Information on Tuesday.
“What’s even worse is that these unfaithful statements create questions of safety for the Professor and her household,” the assertion continued. “In addition they additional compound the trauma that the households of the victims are experiencing and undermine regulation enforcement efforts to search out the individuals accountable in an effort to present solutions to the households and the general public. Professor Scofield twice despatched stop and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, however Ms. Guillard has continued to make false statements, figuring out they’re false. Thus, this lawsuit turned obligatory to guard Professor Scofield’s security and her popularity.”
A tarot card reader specializing in unsolved “mysteries,” per her TikTok description, Guillard has previously posted movies about different high-profile homicide circumstances, together with the killing of Migos rapper Takeoff lower than two weeks earlier than the killings in Idaho. She has recorded and posted greater than 40 statements that Scofield says are false linking her to the scholars’ murders in an in depth collection of TikTok movies shared over the past 4 weeks, in keeping with the lawsuit. The lawsuit additionally alleges that Guillard continued to put up defamatory feedback about Scofield on-line after receiving two stop and desist letters from the professor.
Guillard’s movies in regards to the Idaho murders sometimes garner tens of hundreds of views from different social media customers on the platform, and so they have implicated Jack DuCoeur, the ex-boyfriend of Goncalves, who police say has been cleared as a possible suspect, along with Scofield.
“Guillard’s statements are false,” the lawsuit continues. “Professor Scofield didn’t take part within the murders, and he or she had by no means met any of the victims, not to mention entered a romantic relationship with them. Guillard’s movies have been seen hundreds of thousands of instances, amplifying Guillard’s on-line persona on the expense of Professor Scofield’s popularity.”
Scofield and her husband have been out of city when the murders passed off in Moscow, in keeping with the criticism, which notes that the couple was visiting buddies in Portland, Oregon, that weekend. They spent the night time of Nov. 12 in a lodge there, and drove for roughly 5 hours from Portland again to Moscow the following day, “arriving after regulation enforcement officers had found the murders” following a police name from the surviving roommates and different buddies that afternoon, the lawsuit says.
The criticism additionally addresses Guillard’s claims involving DuCoeur, who, she says in a number of movies, partnered with Scofield to plan or perform the killings. Scofield by no means taught Goncalves, Mogen, Kernodle, Chapin or Ducoeur in lessons since becoming a member of the employees on the College of Idaho in 2016, nor had she met any of the scholars in one other capability, in keeping with the lawsuit. It goes on to reference particular remarks in Guillard’s movies about Scofield at one time allegedly having a romantic relationship with one of many college students who was killed, and denies every one, calling them categorically false.
“Guillard’s false TikToks have broken Professor Scofield’s popularity,” the lawsuit states. “They’ve triggered her vital emotional misery. She fears for her life and for the lives of her members of the family. She has incurred prices, together with prices to put in a safety system and safety cameras at her residence. She fears that Guillard’s false statements could encourage somebody to trigger hurt to her or her members of the family.”
Guillard responded to the lawsuit in a TikTok video posted on Friday, which has been seen practically 150,000 instances since then.
“I’m really gleaming with pleasure,” she mentioned. “I’ll instantly begin planning as a result of I can not wait to current my concepts in courtroom relating to Rebecca Scofield and her position within the homicide of the 4 College of Idaho college students.”
CBS Information contacted TikTok for extra feedback however didn’t obtain an instantaneous reply.