Trial starts for north Michigan priest in assault case

Associated Press

Rogers City — A Roman Catholic priest told jurors in northern Michigan that he was sexually assaulted by another priest during an overnight visit.

A trial began Tuesday for the Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, who was pastor at St. Ignatius Church in Rogers City when he was arrested in February. He’s charged with first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Presque Isle County jury heard opening statements and some testimony Tuesday from the alleged victim, who said the sex was not consensual. Obwaka’s lawyer gave a different version.

Daniel White says Obwaka is relieved that he’ll get a chance to “tell his side” of the story.

Obwaka, a native of Kenya, has been a priest since 2010. He became pastor at St. Ignatius in July 2013.