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It started with one e-mail.
“Here’s something you probably didn’t know,” “Raine Anderson” e-mailed Kirk Torgensen at 6.30 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2006. “She” then alleged that, in the fall semester, one attorney general-Salt Lake Community College adjunct professor slept with two female students. Another attorney general professor “got a girl pregnant, had an abortion like a week ago. Go figure.”
Torgensen wrote back instantly. “Ever heard of something called defamation?” Five minutes later, “Anderson” replied, “It’s not defamation if it’s the truth.”
Mike Chabries, Weber State University (WSU) off-campus coordinator for the Salt Lake Community College campus, received copies of several e-mails from “Anderson” and a “Jeimmy Doe” containing similar allegations. Torgensen e-mailed Chabries that the allegations were “horseshit.”
The list of people “Anderson” was e-mailing about her allegations grew. “Her claim is now that you, me and WSU are doing nothing about it,” Chabries e-mailed Torgensen, who responded, “If this were me, I would sue her.” But “she” had yet to be identified. Weber State conducted an internal investigation, calling in Torgensen and other assistant attorneys general for interviews. No progress was made. The attorney general’s office wanted Salt Lake Community College to hand over its Internet records, Rogers says. They refused. Representatives of the college declined to comment for this story, as did the district attorney’s office. Torgensen also would not comment, except to acknowledge that Guyon was in his class and that there was no relationship between them whatsoever. Nor, it should be added, is there any evidence or allegations there was one. Shurtleff spoke to City Weekly on his deputy’s behalf.
Mid-June 2006, a new name joined the fray: “Jordan.” She e-mailed a fourth attorney general teaching at the college that one student was an independent escort whose boyfriend was abusing her. He responded sympathetically, asking what he could do to help. His concern earned the following from “Jordan”: “When was the last time you had sex??? I know someone who is willing to satisfy your every need and desire. Nobody has to know.” Torgensen received a more detailed offer from “Jordan,” suggesting drinks first and then a visit to a hotel.
Chabries spoke to several criminal-justice classes, telling them there would be no retribution if the e-mailer came forward. “Anderson” e-mailed him: “So given up then on trying to figure out who I am???”
The mysterious e-mailer came up with new ways to torment the attorney general’s office. A series of e-mails from fake accounts were sent to Allure Escorts under the names of various attorney/professors, so it appeared they had solicited information. The e-mails asked about an escort named Rachel. One of Torgensen’s students had indeed worked as an escort: Rachel Guyon.
ADVENTURES IN THE ESCORT TRADE
Guyon is slender, almost willowy. She initially declined to be interviewed for this piece, but agreed to be photographed. Before the camera, she’s restrained but seductive, her schooled features one moment arrogant, the next almost Lolita-plaintive. Tears render her eyes glassy at times, but they never fall.
After the shoot, she requested to sit in on an interview with Rogers and her co-counsel, Rachel’s uncle and attorney, Peter Guyon, for this story. Her lawyers ended the interview once she got into details about what happened during her interrogation by attorney general special agent Eldredge.
Her counsel are not sure quite what to make of her. To her uncle, Rachel Guyon is “oblique, like a stealth bomber, nothing sticks to it.” At first, Rogers says, “I probably thought she was a willful kid who was in a lot of trouble.” Equal parts vulnerable and tough, immature and worldly, Guyon’s slight smile has odd, enigmatic hints of Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.
Born in Oklahama in 1982, Rachel Guyon moved to Salt Lake City with her family when she was a year old. Her mother, Peter Guyon says, is a strict Mormon. She and Rachel’s father are divorced.
Rachel Guyon attended Cottonwood High School, graduating in 2000, according to her MySpace page. On that page, she describes her occupation as “Smartass Troublemaker!!!!” She works as a teacher’s aide at James E. Moss Elementary in Granite School District, earning $10.86 an hour. A request to Granite School District for comment on Guyon’s past and present employment went unanswered.
Guyon joined the escort trade to make more money, Rogers says. She worked as an independent escort in the spring of 2006, according to a police report filed after she had submitted an application to Salt Lake County for a sexually orientated business license. She told the officer who interviewed her for the license application that she’d advertised herself on the Internet. According to the officer’s report filed after the interview, she attracted the attention of a would-be pimp. He allegedly threatened Guyon when she turned down his business offer. She told the interviewing officer, “He said he would kill a bitch before he went to jail.”
Such experiences did not deter her from the escort trade. In August 2006, Guyon secured an Ogden business license for a “personal services” business. That same month, for two weeks, Guyon also worked for Allure Escorts, a spokesman for the agency confirmed. He wouldn’t comment on what she did there. Inquiries from the attorney general’s office to Allure resulted in her permanent suspension, the spokesman added.
Guyon’s stint in the escort business not withstanding, apart from working as a teacher’s aide with "little people" as she calls children in a blog on her MySpace.com page, the rest of her young life seems to have been dedicated to pursuing higher education. In 2001, she started taking criminal justice classes with, she laughs harshly, “an emphasis on corrections.” She says she did not have a crush on Torgensen. She does, however, admit to setting up the e-mail address email@example.com.
“That whole summer was bad from beginning to end,” she says about 2006. She was at home on a Sunday, angry and frustrated that she had to do a class assignment reading case law. “I did it on a whim,” she says about setting up the fake account. But, she says she never used it. “I knew setting it up, I’d done something wrong.” Instead, she asked some friends to get rid of it. “I had no idea how to delete anything.”
In late October 2006, the e-mail synopsis filed in court reveals Torgensen confronted Guyon in the classroom. “I told her she better come clean and fast or the criminal investigation was going to continue,” he e-mailed Chabries. While Guyon admitted to setting up the fake e-mail address, Torgensen didn’t believe her claim she hadn’t written the e-mails. “A total lie,” he e-mailed Chabries.
She forwarded Torgerson five e-mails from that account, that, Torgensen said in an e-mail to Chabries, “came from me supposedly and they were love notes to Rachel.”
The “notes” are almost blushingly romantic in comparison to the earlier tirades. In gentle, at times more strident, tones, the writer says, “You need a man to treat you the way you deserved to be treated, not a boy …”
Torgensen e-mailed Chabries that Guyon was now in even worse trouble. She had upset the boss. “She probably sent an e-mail from Mark Shurtleff to Allure Escorts asking for a date,” Torgensen e-mailed Chabries. “He is pissed.”
By this point, the attorney general’s office was actively investigating. Torgensen seemed almost committed to going to court. “It is possible that it will lead to criminal charges,” he e-mailed Chabries. “She has simply pushed this too far.”