Rape Survivors Say Brigham Young's Honor Code Kept Them From Speaking Out

Two female students say they were afraid they would be expelled if they reported their sexual assaults but decided to share their stories.
9:12 | 05/17/16

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Transcript for Rape Survivors Say Brigham Young's Honor Code Kept Them From Speaking Out
Sexual assault. It's a hot button issue plaguing campuses across the country. But now one school's honor code my be korchly dated a situation, making survivors too afraid to come forward. What's worst, sexual predators may use that fear against them. Two brave women share their stories trying to break the code of silence. Reporter: The locals call it happy valley. For some survivors of sexual assault, it's anything but happy. Marco krandl grew P in tradition. When a stranger got hold of a compromising photo of her, they used it to lure him into a trap. He contacted me and more or less blackmailed me into meeting up with him. A brutal assault came next. He had just hit me a lot. And while he was raping me he had bound me. Reporter: She finally maced to escape, but his terrorizing didn't end there. After it was over he told me that he had taken another photo or video to make me keep seeing him. Reporter: When you ran out of there, did you think I'm going to run straight to the police? No. I was scared if the police found out, BYU would find out. Why were you afraid of that. I was afraid of the honor code and I would be kicked out of school. Reporter: The code outlining modest dress, no caffeine or alcohol or porn or premarital sex. Students can be expelled for violating the code. Her rapest believe students live in fear of the honor code. People know that BYU girls will be afraid to report something like that and that puts a target on our backs. Reporter: That's why some students are going public. They say the school's honor code can shame some into silence. Honestly, I was hoping I wouldn't make it out of there. I felt so much shame. Reporter: You literally wanted to die? Yeah. Reporter: Within days her rapist sent her an e-mail, this time threatening her with new images he had taken during the attack. She said thafrs her breaking point. My dad was downstairs and he came into my room and asked me what happened. I told him, and he was then incredibly supportive. Reporter: Her daughter, David, is also a professor at BYU. I'm glad that she had the strength to want to prosecute the case, to face her rapist. Knowing that my dad believed me, that's what I needed to go to the police. Reporter: Going to the authorities wasn't easy for Maddie Barney either. We were in the police station, and I was just sobbing that I could not report because I knew that BYU was going to find out. Reporter: She says the officer assured her the police wouldn't tell byi, so she worked up the courage to work up a police report accusing the man of rape. He has pled not. She thought she was going on a date with a young single guy. He lied about his age and marital status. He lied about everything. His name. Reporter: It turns out he was a married 39-year-old youth soccer coach. She says in the weeks that followed her high grade point average began slipping. Some days you have panic attacks and can't breathe, and some nights you have nightmares. Reporter: Despite the assurances of privacy, the college had a copy of her rape report. She soon found herself answering questions from the title 9 investigator. I don't recall breaking the honor code. She goes, well, we have your police report. I go excuse me? How did you get that. Reporter: It was leaked by a sheriff's deputy. Across the country, title 9 offices are supposed to be of service to rape survivors. We're not concerned about the minor alcohol violation. We're not concerned about the fact that you had a boy in your room. Reporter: Brett is a national consultant on title 9 issues. We as an institution feel ethically and legally obligated to do everything we can to help you in that situation. Reporter: Instead she says the BYU title 9 officer seemed more interested in her potential honor code violations. Did they try to help you stay in school? They told me they could not give me the services they would provide a rape victim because they could not prove that I'd been raped. Reporter: The college said the primary focus oh isn't victim's safety and well being. A report of sexual assault would always be referred to the BYU tielts 9 office, not to the honor code office. The president said the university is studying the relationship between their title 9 office and their honor code office. We recognize there's some tension between those two, that there are some victims of sexual assault who already may feel like they don't want to come in and sometimes the fear of what's going to happen may keep them from coming in. We want to mip miez that as much as possible. Reporter: She said she was told if she didn't cooperate with the honor code investigation she'd be barred from registering for future classes. Title 9 spoke as if they were the honor code. She said if you don't let us investigate, we'll pass this information along with the honor code. Reporter: She had since launched a petition demanding amnesty from honor code infractions when students report actual assault. I don't understand why they aren't taking a step back and saying it's much better to keep a victim in school than let her rapist walk around. Victims may hesitate to come forward because the possibility that they could be subject to discipline creates a chilling effect on reporting. Reporter: Advocates say the way the honor code is enforced makes a painful ordeal worse. Rape kits are really tough to go through. Yeah. It was really traumatic having to be naked in front of someone again, having them take pictures of your injuries. Reporter: And less than 40% of rape kits get sent to the crime lab in Utah. I think that is a huge public safety concern. We're finding as more and more kits are tested that we're identifying serial rapists. Many times these are the undetected rapists in our community. Reporter: In fact, mar go's rapist was accused to what a source close to the case character rises as a similar assault nature that accusation was dropped. I read the police report ten years later, and it was almost word for word what he did to me. Reporter: Reporting also gives victims resources for therapy. That's what worries me about people feeling like they can't report. You're not being able to talk about what happened. Then you can't get help. And BYU is preventing women from getting help for this. They're not looking at the bigger picture. Reporter: One rapist was convicted. His sentence, five years to life in prison. After dropping out when she went to reenroll in BYU, she says they only offered economic support after the proof that he was found guilty. Once they got proof he was convicted. Until that time they weren't friendly or nice or didn't offer me my help. Reporter: The school then helped her to reenroll in classes and change her failing grades towithdrawals. No her rapist behind bars is appealing. Margo and her father are hoping there will be a amnesty clause for sexual assault cases. We're talking about human beings. What we need is the person who has been assaulted to be lovingly cared for. Blame is not helpful H. No, it isn't. If I stayed silent, I think that would have carried that around for the rest of my life. Now I've been able to speak out about it and it's helped me heal. Reporter: Our thanks to Maddie and Margo for sharing their stories.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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