MI -- Obwaka rape case goes to trial: SNAP responds
A 28-year-old priest with the Diocese of Gaylord testified recently that another priest, Father Sylvestre Obwaka, raped him. The unnamed clergyman had known Obwaka since he was a teen, and had a “working relationship” with him. The case is going to trial, despite the fact that both priests had been drinking together. Obwaka’s defense attorney says that both of the men were adults and the sex was consensual . The next court date is scheduled for Monday, March 20th.
People can be raped even if they socialize and drink with someone who is known to them. The Survivors Network (SNAP) believes that the best response for the victim in such a case is to put it in the hands of the civil authorities, who are experts in evaluating and prosecuting these types of cases.
We hope that anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault will find the courage to stand up and speak out. Help is available, no matter who you are, or what the circumstances of your victimization were, or how long ago it took place. Survivors should always consider making a police report, both to help them take back their power, and also to make others aware of a dangerous person.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. We have members who were molested in all types of institutional settings, including churches, schools, clubs, and homes. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.