Wisconsin court denies request for new trial in Myke child rape case

GREEN BAY, WI — In a written decision released on June 13, Justice John P. Zakowski has denied the request of Hayehe:s Matthew Joseph Myke for a new trial.

Myke was found guilty in January 2020 of Repeated Sexual Assault of Same Child (At Least 3 Violations of 1st or 2nd Degree Sexual Assault). The charges were laid in Green Bay, Wisconsin in Brown County and the trial and sentencing were conducted there as well.

Myke was found guilty and was given a 20 year sentence in September 2020 by Justice Zakowski —10 years in state prison along with an additional 10 years in extended supervision. Following sentencing, Myke filed with the courts an appeal to seek a new trial. In his claim, Myke said his lawyers did not explain that he should testify at trial and did not call on his alibi — Andrew Thomas.

His lawyer said that Myke repeatedly refused to testify and that Thomas did not show up to the case, Myke telling his attorney that Thomas was “busy”.

In his written decision, Zakowski writes, “The court finds the most significant reason there were not witnesses developed for trial testimony is because of lack of information from the defendant himself. Other than Thomas, who apparently would have been able to address only one of the incidents, the defendant has still not identified other potential witnesses, the content of their testimony, and how the testimony would be relevant in making any difference in the outcome of the trial. The court finds no deficient performance.”

Myke claimed he was unable to present a defence in the case because the court ruled text messages from his ex-wife in 2013 and 2014 to be inadmissable. The courts did not find merit in that claim.

Justice Zakowski denied the motion for a new trial, writing, “The court does not find counsels representation to be deficient. Even if found deficient, the court does not believe there is a reasonable probability of a different result at trial.”

Myke was appointed a faithkeeper at Sour Springs Longhouse on Six Nations. Court documents show that it was Myke’s traditional role as a faithkeeper in the longhouse tradition that introduced the man to the victim.

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.

At least one of those supporters wrote to the courts to withdraw their letter, stating that they were unaware of the nature of the charges against Myke.

Myke will continue to serve his 10 year sentence in custody at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He will be listed as a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

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