A few weeks ago I reported that our investigation into a plagiarism and cyberbullying case had led us to a schoolteacher, Tiffanie Rushton, who has since been charged with numerous offenses.
Allegedly, Rushton plagiarized the clean romance of Rachel Ann Nunes, and then added porn scenes and tried to sell it as her own work. When Nunes discovered what was going on, she was suddenly hit with cyberbullying attacks, as were the bloggers who had been working with Rushton (who was writing under a pen name). Rushton then used sock puppets, fake identities, to promote her own work (in violation of Utah’s Truth in Advertising laws), and then used the same sock puppets to attack Nunes’s work, in an effort to damage her career.
In the last three weeks, things have gotten ugly. A second victim of Rushton’s plagiarism has been discovered. This time it was a wounded army veteran who had written a report on how he had gotten PTSD after his Humvee hit a landmine.
It was also discovered that the names of the sock puppets that Rushton used were taken from the third-grade children in her classroom.
As a result, she has been placed on administrative leave from her job as a teacher. But wait, there’s more!
I received two letters from angry parents who wanted the names of their children taken down in my blog posts, and I asked my assistant to take care of this. Then, on Nunes’s blog yesterday, Nunes got this note, addressed from one of the children’s parents, demanding that her blog be taken down and threatening legal action if it wasn’t: “This blog post needs to be taken down. My child’s name has popped up on other blogs because of this. Google Tiffanie Rushton and things are still popping up. 'Redacting' is not enough. I will report you and discredit your investigation. God help you, especially if you are LDS and held to a higher standard.”
Interestingly enough, though, this didn’t actually come from an angry parent. It turns out that it came from the computer of Tiffanie Rushton, the perpetrator, who has gone from using schoolchildren as sock puppets to impersonating their parents.
So, Rachel has incurred about $10,000 in legal expenses so far in trying to bring her attacker to justice. If you are interested in donating a bit, no amount is too large, in my estimation. Go here to lend support. If you've already donated, consider donating again. Then share the page with others to help spread the word.