MI -- Obwaka rape case goes to trial: SNAP responds

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda, SNAP Volunteer Board Member (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

No one is immune from sexual assault, even clergymen.

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)


Contact – Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)


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