Orem man acquitted after being accused of raping BYU student
An Orem man who was accused and charged with raping a Brigham Young University student was acquitted late Wednesday night, according to court documents.
Nasiru Seidu, 41, had been accused of raping a 19-year-old BYU student, Madi Barney, in her off-campus apartment in Provo. Seidu’s trial began on Oct. 10.
The Daily Herald does not normally name alleged victims of crimes, but is naming Barney after she went public with her story, agreeing to be named by multiple media outlets to advocate that in cases of sexual assault, victims be exempt from BYU’s honor code policy.
The two had met at the gym when Seidu told the woman he was younger than he was, single and gave her a different name.
Their relationship progressed, and on Sept. 25, 2015, they began kissing consensually before Barney reportedly told Seidu to get a condom. The woman’s mood changed, and she told Seidu she no longer wanted to have sex. That’s when Seidu allegedly raped her.
Barney called Seidu after the incident and a recording of the phone call was played during the trial. Barney told Seidu she couldn’t forgive him until he told her what he did.
“You said I raped you,” Seidu responds in the recording. “I did, and I want you to forgive me.”
Despite this evidence, which Craig Johnson, deputy Utah County attorney, referred to as the “smoking gun” Seidu was acquitted of all charges after just five hours of jury deliberation.
This particular case did spur a public outcry because the woman came under investigation by BYU’s Honor Code Office, which investigates infractions and enforces the rules that BYU students are forced to follow.
With multiple people sharing their story of sexual assault and how the Honor Code Office became involved, BYU did change their policy earlier this year to reflect amnesty for students who report sexual misconduct.