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Man accused in BYU student sex and extortion case

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah man is accused of trying to extort sexual favors and money from an engaged, male Brigham Young University student whom he met on Craigslist.

Brad Ray Adams, 36, faces one felony charge for attempted forcible sodomy and three misdemeanors. Police say the pair had consensual sex, but Adams then repeatedly demanded that the 21-year-old BYU student pay him hundreds of dollars and continue the relationship if he wanted to keep the previous encounter a secret.

Adams was arrested during a sting operation March 6 and released from jail a day later. He is set for a court appearance Wednesday in Provo, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. A telephone number listed for him was disconnected, and no attorney was listed in court records.

Provo police say Adams repeatedly threatened the man that he would report their encounter to officials at BYU, where a strict honor code prohibits students from having pre-marital sex. The school, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says it doesn’t punish students for their sexual orientation but they cannot act on their same-sex attraction.

Last year, BYU star basketball player Brandon Davies was suspended less than a month before the NCAA tournament for violating the school’s honor code by reportedly having sex with his girlfriend.

Provo police say Adams met the student Feb. 22 on Craigslist, and the student eventually sent him sexually explicit pictures, according to a police report. Police said the two men also had consensual sex, which Adams videotaped without the student’s knowledge.

When the student told Adams he didn’t want to continue the relationship, Adams demanded $260 to destroy the video and pictures, according to police. If the student refused, Adams said he would release the pictures and video to university officials, the student’s family members, fiance and religious leaders.

After the student paid the money, police said Adams demanded an additional $800 or $600 plus more sex. The police report said Adams also told the student’s fiance about their relationship, which ended their engagement, and he warned the student he had ruined the lives of other people at BYU in a similar fashion. Authorities did not elaborate.

The student reported the extortion to police, who set-up the sting operation in march. Adams was arrested when he accepted the $800 payment from the student.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the university had not yet confirmed whether the victim was actually a student, but said if he is enrolled he would be referred to school’s Honor Code Office for potential disciplinary action.

While BYU students are prohibited from having premarital sex, violating the honor code doesn’t mean immediate dismissal, Jenkins said Tuesday.

“There would be a review. Each case is handled on an individual basis,” she said.

The honor code must be signed by every student attending BYU, and is based on the teachings of the Mormon church, Jenkins said.

“It’s very principle-based, and members of the campus community are coming to the school to uphold it,” she said.

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