A University of Idaho history professor is suing a TikTok personality for claiming that she was behind the murder of four students at the school.
The so-called “cyber-sleuth” Ashley Guillard accused professor Rebecca Scofield of the crimes. Guillard claims that she “solves crimes online” by using psychic readings.
Guillard claims that Scofield was having a relationship with one of the four students who was murdered and planned the murders with another student because the other person in the relationship wanted to end things.
“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple,” Scofield’s attorney Wendy J. Olson said in a statement. “What’s even worse is that these untrue statements create safety issues for the Professor and her family.”
“They also further compound the trauma that the families of the victims are experiencing and undermine law enforcement efforts to find the people responsible in order to provide answers to the families and the public,” the statement continued. “Professor Scofield twice sent cease and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, but Ms. Guillard has continued to make false statements, knowing they are false. Thus, this lawsuit became necessary to protect Professor Scofield’s safety and her reputation.”
“On or about November 28, 2022, Guillard posted six TikTok videos to her account in which she falsely stated that Professor Scofield, the chair of the history department, was responsible for the four students’ deaths,” the lawsuit said. “Two of the TikToks directly and falsely state that Professor Scofield ordered the execution of the four students. Three of the TikToks either falsely implied or directly stated that Professor Scofield had been involved in a relationship with one of the murdered students, K.G.”
The lawsuit said that the accusations have caused serious security concerns for the professor and her family and that they have experienced financial loss as a result.
“She fears for her life and for the lives of her family members,” the complaint states. “She has incurred costs, including costs to install a security system and security cameras at her residence. She fears that Guillard’s false statements may motivate someone to cause harm to her or her family members.”
Guillard responded to the lawsuit by saying that she is “not stopping,” and questioned why the professor needed to a team of lawyers “if she’s so innocent.”
“I don’t care what y’all say, Rebecca Scofield killed (the victims) and she was the one to initiate the plan,” Guillard said.
Idaho police have warned that online harassment will not be tolerated in this case and that it could result in criminal charges.
“Investigators have been monitoring online activity related to this ongoing and active case and are aware of the large amount of rumors and misinformation being shared as well as harassing and threatening behavior toward potentially involved parties,” Moscow police said. “Anyone engaging in threats or harassment whether in person, online or otherwise needs to understand that they could be subjecting themselves to criminal charges.”