Faithkeeper at Sour Springs longhouse sentenced to 20 years in prison for child rape

Trigger Warning: This story discusses child rape and rape apologists.

GREEN BAY, WI — A Wisconsin court has handed Six Nations man, Hayehe:s Matthew Joseph Myke, a 20 year sentence after being found guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting a child.

On September 4, 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.

Myke was also ordered to undergo a sex offender treatment evaluation and must submit a DNA sample to the Sex Offender Registry Program. Myke was appointed a faithkeeper at Sour Springs Longhouse on Six Nations.

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.

As part of the sentencing hearing, 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. Several of the 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.

Sources familiar with the case say that it was Myke’s traditional role as a faithkeeper in the longhouse tradition that introduced the man to the victim.

TRT has obtained copies of the character reference letters sent to the courts on behalf of Myke. Several of the letters are authored by persons in senior levels of leadership in the Haudenosaunee longhouse community, the Grand River Pow Wow, Haudenosaunee cultural centres and education.

Included in the submissions is a letter from a cultural resource program coordinator for the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre on letterhead giving the appearance that it was coming from the Centre itself. It offered the convicted child sex offender an opportunity to resume work with the Centre upon his release from prison.

It reads, “Matthew Myke was an upstanding member of our Friendship Centre community and I believe that the cultural work he has done with the Centre will continue once he is back in the community.”

The letter is dated May 17, 2020 — after Myke was found guilty by a Wisconsin court of multiple acts of child rape against an indigenous girl — which came on January 23, 2020.

Part of Myke’s sentencing was that he not be in attendance with anyone under the age of 18, and that he submit DNA evidence to the registered sex offender database.

FENFC Director Jennifer Dockstader says they were not aware of the letter.

“[He] was not authorized by us to write the letter that was provided to the courts,” said Dockstader in an email to TRT.

“To the best of my knowledge Matthew Myke has never been employed by us, is not a visitor to us, or had any contact with any program participants in the almost 6 years I have been here. We did not, nor could we, offer employment to Matthew Myke given his conviction and our public knowledge of his actions,” said Dockstader.

On January 23, a Wisconsin court found Hayehe:s Matthew Joseph Myke, 35, guilty of Repeated Sexual Assault of Same Child (At Least 3 Violations of 1st or 2nd Degree Sexual Assault). The sentencing was originally slated for March of this year but was delayed to September due to pandemic restrictions in place across the state.

According to the Wisconsin State Court, Myke has filed an intent to appeal his sentence.

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