BYU Student Says School Won’t Allow Her to Register for Classes After She Reported Her Rape
A sophomore student from Brigham Young University said she is being punished by her school for reporting to police that she had been raped.
Madi Barney, 20, created a petition earlier this month to bring awareness about her alleged rape that occured in September during a date in her off-campus apartment by 39-year-old Nasiru Seidu.
Barney claims she did not invite Seidu into her bedroom. She also said he used a fake name, lied about his age, and did not tell Barney he was married, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Seidu confessed to the rape in a recorded phone call, Barney said.
According to the paper, he has been arrested and charged with sexual assault. The crime is set to go to trial.
In the petition, which has over a 100,000 signatures, Barney wrote:
I was raped, and I waited four days to report because I was so terrified about my standing at BYU. Brigham Young University has a strict honor code that prohibits actions such as premarital sex, alcohol or drug use, and even being in the bedroom of someone of the opposite sex. I am a survivor of rape, and now BYU has put my academic future on hold due to their allegations that I broke the Honor Code in the circumstances of my assault.
Since Barney has come forward with the rape, she has been banned from registering for classes:
When I sought out resources from BYU, the Title IX coordinator told me that there wasn’t enough proof of the assault to grant me those resources. She also informed me that the Honor Code Office is putting a hold on my academic career by not allowing me to register for any future classes.
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins told NBC News she begs to differ, saying athough she can not talk about the case, she can assure “we would never put a hold on a student’s registration because she reported her rape to the police.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the school will look into changing its policies.
“A victim of a sexual assault will never be referred to the Honor Code Office for being a victim of sexual assault,” BYU said in a statement on April 18. However, the statement also says, “sometimes in the course of an investigation, facts come to light that a victim has engaged in prior Honor Code violations.”
The statement later reassures that “BYU has zero tolerance for students who commit sexual violence.”