College professor sues TikTok cyber sleuth who accused her of campus murders

History teacher at University of Idaho sues cyber sleuth for defamation after would-be sleuth accuses her of being involved in the campus murders last month.

TikTok personality Ashley Guillard accused Rebecca Scofield, associate professor and head of the history department, of carrying out the murders of four students at the University of Moscow, Idaho. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, points to numerous videos posted on the platform that attempted to link the teacher to the murders.

“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple,” Scofield’s attorney, Wendy J. Olson, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “What’s even worse is that these misrepresentations create security issues for the professor and his family.”

“They also compound the trauma experienced by families of victims and undermine law enforcement efforts to find those responsible in order to provide answers to families and the public,” the statement continued. “Professor Scofield twice sent cease and desist letters to Ms. Guillard, but Ms. Guillard continued to make false statements, knowing that they were false.”

“Thus, this lawsuit has become necessary to protect Professor Scofield’s safety and reputation.”

Guillard posted a video responding to the lawsuit on Friday, saying, “I’m not stopping” and asking why Scofield needed three lawyers to prosecute her “if she’s so innocent.”

Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were stabbed to death in a three-story house between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on November 13. The victims were found on the second and third floors, while two roommates on the first floor slept during the attack, according to police.

The lawsuit alleges which Guillard began publishing on November 24 and directly blamed Scofield, stating that the professor “had been involved in a relationship with one of the murdered students, KG [Kaylee Goncalves].”

“On or around November 28, 2022, Guillard posted six TikTok videos to her account in which she falsely stated that Professor Scofield, the head of the history department, was responsible for the deaths of four students“, said the lawsuit. “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, KG”

Scofield started working at the university in 2016 and assumed the position of department chair in 2021, according to the Idaho Statesman. In the lawsuit, it is stated that Scofield was in Portland visiting friends at the time of the murders and had never taught or met any of the victims.

“She fears for her life and the lives of her family members,” the complaint reads. “She has incurred costs, including the cost of installing a security system and security cameras at her home. She is concerned that Guillard’s misrepresentations could motivate someone to harm her or do harm to members of his family.”

Moscow police have yet to name a suspect and had to spend time helping control rampant rumors and theories that circulated because of the murders. The police even included a section in regular press releases titled “Rumor Control”, aimed at quelling rumors about possible murders, victims or perpetrators that have spread online.

Officials warned that law enforcement officers are monitoring social media rumors and noted in a Dec. 9 press release that “[a]Anyone who engages in threats or harassment, whether in person, online or otherwise, should understand that they could be subject to criminal charges.”

Fox News Digital’s Rebecca Rosenberg and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

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