(KUTV) A Sheriff's deputy says he intended for BYU to investigate male student athletes, not a female rape victim, when he turned her rape case over to the school's Honor Code Office.
Utah County Deputy Sheriff Edwin Randolph released a statement through his lawyer Friday afternoon.
The case centers on Madi Barney, who says BYU is not allowing her to register for classes after she reported her rape. She started a petition that has garnered more that 27,000 signatures for BYU to grant immunity to rape victims in honor code investigations.
"Deputy Randolph wants to ensure that his role in this case is reported accurately," Randolph's statement reads.
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Randolph's response follows a FridaySalt Lake Tribune report citing court documents in a witness retaliation case related to the BYU rape allegations. Charges against Randolph in September allege he is a friend of the accused rapist, 39-year-old Nasiru Seidu, and that he gave the victim's report to the Honor Code Office in retaliation. Barney said Seidu deceived her when she met him, using a fake name and telling her he was 26. The charges against Randolph were dropped without prejudice in February.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson brought charges against the Seidu and told the Tribune that BYU's Honor Code investigation threatens the prosecution of the case according to the Tribune in a story published Friday.
"When we have a victim that is going to be revictimized any time she talks about the rape it's unfortunate that BYU is holding her schooling hostage until she comes to meet with them," Johnson said. "And we, as prosecutors, prefer she doesn't meet with them."
Friday afternoon the Utah County Attorney's office issued a statement in a press release that seemed to contradict Johnson's statement. It said in part:
"Referring to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning, we want to clarify that BYU has not interfered with the prosecution of, nor has it acted unlawfully with respect to the pending sexual assault case. BYU has not in any manner impaired the ability of the Utah County Attorney's Office to seek justice for the victim of the case."
The PDF of the full statement can be read below.
RELATED:Thousands sign petition asking BYU to help rape victims, not investigate them
His attorney denies Randolph is a friend of Seidu. He also denies that he gave a copy of the police file to BYU with the intention they investigate Barney.
"Deputy Randolph never intended that BYU take honor code action against the female victim," the statement reads. "Rather, he intended that BYU investigate male students, particularly male athletes, who may have victimized women or otherwise violated BYU standards regarding sexual conduct."
It also states that the witness retaliation charges were dismissed once the county attorney had "all the facts and Deputy Randolph's intent was made clear."
"Edwin cares deeply about the victim in this case and hopes she is able to find comfort and closure."
Read the witness retaliation charges against Randolph:
Utah County Attorney press release on Friday, April 15, 2016
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