By Peter Kranenburg
Prosecutors in the jury trial of former BYU football players B.J. Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada called on Steve Baker, Director of the Honor Code Office at Brigham Young University, to testify in court Wednesday.
Mathis and Rashada are on trial for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl in their apartment last year.
The attorneys asked Baker what the honor code is, and what kind of action does the university take when honor code violations are reported to them.
?It is a code of behavior,? Baker said, ?[It?s] commitment on everyone?s part to be honest, live the laws of the land, abstain from sex, alcohol and drugs, respect others, use clean language, things like that.?
Baker testified a complaint was filed against Mathis and Rashada followed by an investigation launched in late August 2004. Baker also stated that he met with the defendants concerning the honor code violation allegations in September 2004.
Baker then talked about how the Honor Code Office conducts its investigations. He said that they seek out others who might have been involved in the reported incident. Baker also said the office would sometimes contact ecclesiastical leaders during an investigation because they know the student better than those conducting the investigation. He said this process is followed for both LDS and non-LDS students.
The prosecution introduced the written statements made by Mathis and Rashada to the Honor Code Office during its investigation into evidence.
Baker began to testify concerning the results of the Honor Code Office?s investigation, but was unable to continue when the defense objected as to the relevancy of those results. The defense said their clients were not on trial for breaking the Honor Code, so the results of that investigation are irrelevant in a jury trial.
Upon cross-examination the defense drew attention to the fact that not all students live the Honor Code and that we are all ?works in progress.?
When asked by the defense if students with scholarships know that violating the Honor Code could cause them to lose their scholarships, Baker said he would think that they would know there are serious ramifications.