But they were acquired from the report about the rape,” said Barney's attorney, Liesel Le Cates.
“They're putting the whole entire community at risk by deterring rape reporting.”Mac Donald said that when she first reported the alleged sexual assault, she was directed to the school’s Title IX office.
Suddenly, Mac Donald said she felt like a suspect.“At BYU, everybody feels like it’s so safe. “To acknowledge that I’m telling the truth requires admitting it’s not that safe.”Mac Donald, now a junior, is among several women calling for greater protections for sexual assault victims at BYU — including amnesty from potential honor code violations.
Nasiru Seidu, 39, the man charged with assaulting Barney, told police the sex was consensual and shared the police report with a Utah County sheriff’s deputy and former BYU track coach, who then gave it to college officials, according to court records.
The deputy and Seidu were charged with witness retaliation, but the charges were later dropped. BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the school’s overriding concern is protecting students, especially victims: “When a student reports a sexual assault, the primary focus is on the victim’s safety and well-being.…
Campus officials opened a sexual assault investigation.
But they also opened an inquiry to determine whether Mac Donald had violated the private Mormon university’s honor code, which requires that students adhere to the school’s strict rules for proper behavior — no swearing, coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol or premarital sex.
The victim of a sexual assault will never be referred to the Honor Code Office for being a victim of sexual assault.”Still, Jenkins added, “sometimes in the course of an investigation, facts come to light that a victim has engaged in prior honor code violations.”The Times does not typically name sexual assault victims, but Mac Donald and others asked to be identified to draw attention to their cases.
Barney, who grew up in Indio, was told she could complete the semester but would be barred from enrolling in future classes “until the [honor code] issues are resolved.” She has since filed a federal complaint against the school alleging it failed to comply with Title IX, the federal law aimed at protecting people from sex discrimination at schools and universities.“BYU's position is the honor code violations have nothing to do with the rape.
The outcry at BYU started after Madison “Madi” Barney, a 20-year-old sophomore, went to the Provo police to report that she’d been raped at an off-campus apartment in September.
Her attorney said she was startled when she was suddenly called by school officials who threatened to forward her case to the Honor Code Office.
The Seattle 19-year-old had met a man through the online dating site Tinder.