In April 2016, BYU student Madi Barney spoke out at a campus rape conference about how the private school treated victims of sexual assault. Since then, more than 50 people have told The Salt Lake Tribune that they were sexually assaulted while attending BYU.
A dozen said they were investigated for Honor Code violations in connection with the sexual abuses they reported. Students said school officials probed their conduct, reviewing curfew violations and what they were wearing, although the students had said they had not consented to sex. Many more did not report, citing fears that they would be disciplined for Honor Code violations.
The school has since acknowledged that its Honor Code and Title IX processes were intertwined, and in October 2016 began adopting changes to its policies — including an amnesty clause for those who report sexual assault but may have broken school rules around the time of the incident.
Throughout 2016, students at other colleges across the state have also shared with The Tribune their experiences at school and in the justice system in the aftermath of sexual assault, including four women who reported the same Utah State University student to police in 2015 but saw the investigations languish. After The Tribune published their stories, USU looked into its handling of the cases — three of the women were students and say they reported to the school — and began retooling its sexual assault policies. And in October, the accused man, Torrey Green, was charged with six felonies, including four rapes.
Read these stories, and more from 2016, below.