TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains graphic details of sexual assault against a child.
GREEN BAY, WI — Convicted child sex offender Hayehe:s Matthew Joseph Myke appeared back in court this month, in a post-conviction relief hearing that could reduce his time in jail.
Myke was found guilty at a jury trial in 2020 for repeatedly sexually assaulting a child in several locations and on several occasions across New York State and Wisconsin. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
A motion for post-conviction relief argues that the sentence exceeds the maximum penalty as set by law. It can also include grounds outside the record, including errors of the judge, jury or lawyers that were not discovered until after conviction.
Myke claims that he wasn’t aware he could testify on his own behalf in the jury trial, and says he produced text messages to his legal team that they did not submit during the trial.
Myke did not take the stand during the jury trial and, according to transcripts from the relief hearing, on multiple occasions told his lawyers he would not take the stand, maintaining his innocence.
Court records show that Myke sexually assaulted a 15 year old in at least seven incidents — one taking place at a pow-wow in Wisconsin while he was married and living in the state.
Graphic details on those incidents were outlined in a letter between the Brown County District Attorney David Lasee and Myke’s attorney Shane Brabazon.
In the letter, Lasee says the assaults escalated over time.
In September 2020, Myke was sentenced by Wisconsin Justice John P. Zakowski to 10 years in state prison along with an additional 10 years in extended supervision. He must complete 1000 hours of community service and can have no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18. He is currently serving his prison sentence at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.
Eyewitnesses at trial say Myke apologized to the victim, saying he never meant for things to go as far as they did, just prior to the judge reading his sentence.
Myke was also ordered to undergo a sex offender treatment evaluation and must submit a DNA sample to the Sex Offender Registry Program.
Before the trial, Myke was appointed a faithkeeper at Sour Springs Longhouse on Six Nations.
As part of his defence, 30 people from Six Nations, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Oneida Nation of the Thames and Fort Erie’s Haudenosaunee communities wrote letters to the judge — asking for Myke to not be sent to prison — causing outrage across Haudenosaunee communities in Canada and the United States. Several of those supporters stated that Myke did not deserve to serve time in prison for child rape because he is a faithkeeper, can speak the Cayuga language and conduct ceremonies.
Members of the victim’s family told TRT it was Myke’s traditional role as a faithkeeper in the longhouse tradition that introduced the man to the victim.
At least one person who wrote a letter of support told TRT they were not told about the nature of the charges that Myke was facing when they were asked to write him a letter of support. Upon news breaking about the nature of the charges he was facing, at least one of those supporters wrote to the Brown County courts, withdrawing their letter of support. Another individual lost their job for writing a letter of support and others were asked to step down from positions in leadership at indigenous organizations because of their support letters — including a push by the Haudenosaunee Women’s National Lacrosse team to remove a team manager for their support letter.
The judge will present a written decision on the appeal for post-conviction relief at a later date.