Monday, March 26, 2012

Married LDS Lawyer Steven Guynn Arrested In Connecticut For Allegedly Assaulting Purported Mistress Jeanette Schaefer, But Schaefer May Be A Disgruntled Scammer

Is high-powered Manhattan lawyer Steven Guynn an abusive, adulterous womanizer who has trampled his LDS covenants underfoot, or is he the victim of an embellished story made up by his alleged female paramour, Jeanette Schaefer, who's been exposed as a possible scammer?

The New York Post leans distinctly in the first direction. On March 23rd, 2012, the Post reported that Steven Guynn, who works for the King & Spalding law firm, had been arrested on March 16th over his role in a physical confrontation with Jeanette Schaefer that occurred on March 14th in Guynn's home in New Canaan, CT. Guynn allegedly slapped Schaefer four times in a punching manner to the right side of the head, leaving a bruise under her left eye, and also forcefully grabbed her left arm, leaving a bruise, according to the police report. The court papers also state that in a previous incident occurring in May 2011, Guynn allegedly assaulted Schaefer with approximately 30 hits to her stomach, face and upper body, and threatened her life. Guynn was arrested on March 16th after he confirmed to police during an interview in his home that he was involved in the March 14th altercation; the Stamford Advocate reports that he has been charged with third-degree assault and second-degree threatening. He has since been released on $30,000 bail; his next court appearance is scheduled for April 25th.

Stephen Guynn is identified as being married to Kristie Guynn, a writer and editor whose byline appears in some LDS Church publications such as the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation. So where was Kristie when this altercation occurred? Most likely not at home -- during the course of the alleged two-year affair between Stephen Guynn and Jeanette Schaefer, the two would see each other either at her apartment (also in New Canaan) or at his home when his wife was out of town. The Guynns are both graduates of Brigham Young University in Provo, where Steven was also a class valedictorian. The couple has two daughters who are also BYU grads.

But here is where the story starts to become more interesting. Steven Guynn not only allegedly showered Schaefer with gifts, money, and trips, but the two set up a business called Raw Flora, built around Schaefer’s interest in eco-travel and nutritional supplements. Corporate records list the company’s official address as Guynn’s home and say he and Schaefer are its only officers; the company's website states “All of our products, EcoTours and programs have been strategically developed to support community projects, educate participants on sustainability efforts, offset carbon emissions, and contribute to scientific research”. Typical corporate gobbledy-gook.

But just as the story is about to become REAL interesting, the Post gets cold feet. For the rest of the story, we turn to Wall Street Unplugged, edited by Teri Buhl (the use of her real name gives it more credibility). Buhl's account casts considerable doubt on the credibility of Jeannette Schaefer. The key excerpt (after the jump):

In September an anonymous poster published a warning about Schaefer, who goes by Jeanette Kielo Dussel in her work as a raw food healer and tour guide, claiming she doesn’t have the new age training she advertises. When I asked Jeanette about the fraud claims on Friday, she shrugged it off as a vengeful move by her ex husband, William Schaefer, who sued her for alimony payments when she left him for married Guynn. She also didn’t seem too upset about the New York Post outing her name telling me in an interview she thought “Who Cares” after she read their story. This might be because any press is good press for the 41-year-old mistress who needs to sell wealthy travelers on shelling out coin to roam through a Mexican jungle and eat raw food on one of her ‘Eco Tours’ if she plans to support herself. You see in the last few months the mistress has been hitting up anyone with a celeb name to join her nature walks in what appears to be a move to add credibility to the operation – a company incorporated for her by Guynn in September 2009.

The anonymous blogger may be a bit suspect, even a disgruntled customer, since the post about Schaefer is the only one on the blog, but since Teri Buhl referenced it, there must be some facts behind it. The Better Business Bureau has no database entry for Raw Flora.

Jeanette Schaefer reportedly sounded out a lawyer in New Haven to file a civil claim against Guynn but the lawyer wouldn’t take her case. But even though she asked for a full no-contact order on Guynn, Jeannette reportedly has been in contact with Guynn’s attorneys, although it’s unclear if she's either trying to get some form of monetary payment from Guynn, or else is backing down from her statements to the New Canaan Police about Guynn’s physical attacks. The case has been moved to the domestic violence docket which means Guynn may never have to plea and a deal for anger management classes along with a continued no contact order could be negotiated.

Thus the possibility exists that Steven Guynn may have become suspicious of what Jeanette Schaefer was doing with the business, and confronted her over it. The Stamford Advocate also notes that Guynn recently and suddenly decided to stop financially bankrolling Raw Flora -- perhaps out of concern that it was looking like a scam. Out of revenge, Schaefer could have deliberately embellished the story about the assault. Undoubtedly Guynn probably grabbed her wrist during the confrontation, but I seriously doubt he punched her 30 times back in May 2011. Domestic violence cases are the most difficult to accurately adjudge because there is so much "he said-she said" involved.

There is a strong possibility that Guynn was indeed involved in an adulterous relationship with Schaefer, which if confirmed, would warrant his excommunication from the LDS Church. Because of the serious nature of adultery, excommunication is the most common penalty levied by a Church disciplinary council; disfellowship is considered insufficient.


Anonymous said...

Michael Crook to be excommunicated in a DC on April 5:

Anonymous said...

I believe you are correct in your comment: "Thus the possibility exists that Steven Guynn may have become suspicious of what Jeanette Schaefer was doing with the business, and confronted her over it". Jeannette is SICK and a Sociopath, and I feel he caught on to her slick trickery. Sick people like her can be more dangerous than any of us think and he possibly could have been witnessing something Jeannette was going to do to him as she has done to others, of which one I do know quite well!

Teri Buhl said...

1) I am a professional journalist who has written for many mainstream media publications: New York Post, New York Mag, Forbes, The Atlantic, Greenwich Time, Hearst Newspapers etc...
and I live in New Canaan,CT.
2) You have copied a paragraph from my story that needs to be attributed. Please add to your 7th paragraph: Teri Buhl reports

Jon Maliner said...

I think it is unfortunate, how in cases like this some in the media will immediately jump at the opportunity of making preeminent mention of MORMON [insert bad deed here].

I bet if a member of the LDS church discovers a cure for cancer we will not see "Mormon Scientist Discovers Cure For Cancer" headlines.

Evidence of this are the several scientific discoveries (and other positive deeds) done by "mormons" not highlighted as such by most media.