Owoidighe Ekanem Rapes Teenager on Child’s Booster Seat – Was He Allowed Unsupervised Visits with his Children?

Owoidighe Ekanem, source Northland News Center/ http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com

Minnesota, October 2015: Owoidighe Isongitiat Ekanem or “E.K.” (DOB 11/08/1980) faces felony charges for  two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping and one count of third degree assault in St. Louis County in Hibbing. Ekanem is accused of finding a teenager asleep in her car near the Mesabi bike trail near Chisholm then pulling the teenager from her car, beating her and raping her for an estimated 30-45 minutes. Bail has been set at $250,000.

A disturbing aspect of this incident is that Ekanem’s estranged wife reports that he is a “monster” who gets violent when he drinks. The estranged wife says that Ekanem drives an SUV with a child’s booster seat in the back.

According to the victim’s statement, Ekanem allegedly raped the teenager several times, including raping her while she was lying on a booster seat in the back of his SUV. 

Ekanem’s criminal history includes financial transaction card fraud and a speeding ticket. In 2012, a criminal court issued a warrant for commitment against Ekanem related to the fraud charge, which means that he was found incompetent to stand trial.

If Ekanem has a booster seat in the back of his SUV then it is reasonable to think that he has some custody or parenting time with his child(ren). The allegations from the estranged wife also imply that she has raised concerns about Ekanem’s behavior, and that he poses a serious risk of harm to others when drinking (and possibly in other ways as well).

I am really interested in learning more about Ekanem’s family court case, and specifically if any allegations of abuse, drinking, violent or concerning behavior were raised during proceedings. From what has been said by his estranged wife, in combination with a history of civil commitment, clearly Ekanem should not have any unsupervised contact with his children. 

I suggest that the investigators working this case consider that if Ekanem has had unsupervised contact with his children, abuse or maltreatment may have occurred. If there are any concerns, getting an evaluation from a qualified child psychologist or other professional is crucial. If children do not raise allegations about abuse, their behavior or development may also be indicative that something has happened. I am not saying the children should automatically be questioned or subjected to examination, but am suggesting that due to the seriousness of these allegations, in combination with Ekanem’s history, the safety and well-being of the children should be considered, especially if they have had any time alone or overnight unsupervised with Ekanem.

I would also suggest that the estranged wife talk to an advocate or battered women’s shelter about safety planning, and any options to ensure her safety and that of the children.

~ Emily Court

UPDATE: 

As of December 31, 2015, Ekanem is being held in the Aitkin County Jail. Aitkin County Jail is a County Jail used by the jurisdictions of Aitkin to confine inmates for short periods while awaiting trial or processing.

Charges read as follows: “EKANEM, OWOIDIGHE 12/08/15 Saint Louis

Charge: A9B00 – A9B00 – TERR THREATS-THRT CRM VIOL-NO WEAP-UNK RELAT L1B71

– CSC 1-CONTACT-ACQUAINT-UND AGE-13-F A3200

– ASLT 3-FE-SUBSTANTIAL INJURY-NO WEAP-UNK RELAT”

More Info:

Man finds teen alone in car on Iron Range, rapes and beats her, charges say

Minn. Stat: 253B.10 PROCEDURES UPON COMMITMENT.

 

 

 

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About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. "Emily Court" is a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. Emily is fighting to keep her kids safe, and bring them home. Through writing and blogging, Emily is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
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10 Responses to Owoidighe Ekanem Rapes Teenager on Child’s Booster Seat – Was He Allowed Unsupervised Visits with his Children?

  1. navyguns says:

    The “Warrant of Commitment” was a result of his pleading guilty, he was then released on his own recognizance. A warrant of commitment is not the same as having someone committed to a psychiatric hospital. Here is the relevant portion of the court record:

    11/03/2011 Discovery Disclosure
    11/03/2011 Subpoena with Service
    11/04/2011 Affidavit of Service
    11/07/2011 Discovery Disclosure
    12/01/2011 Plea Hearing (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ackerson, David E.)
    Result: Held
    12/01/2011 Petition to Enter Guilty Plea (Judicial Officer: Ackerson, David E. )
    12/01/2011 Order-Predisposition Investigation (Judicial Officer: Ackerson, David E. )
    12/13/2011 CANCELED Jury Trial (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ackerson, David E.)
    Waived
    06/21/2012 Sentencing (9:00 AM) (Judicial Officer Ackerson, David E.)
    05/31/2012 Reset by Court to 06/21/2012
    Result: Held
    06/21/2012 Criminal Judgment and Warrant of Commitment (Judicial Officer: Ackerson, David E. )
    06/21/2012 Presentence Investigation Report (Judicial Officer: Ackerson, David E. )
    06/21/2012 Interim Condition for EKANEM, OWOIDIGHE ISONGITIAT
    – Released on own recognizance

    • Emily Court says:

      At the same time any warrant of commitment shows a serious concern with the mental health of the individual involved. A warrant of commitment is only issued under very specific circumstances, which include posing a harm to others or self. That in combination with the alleged problems with alcohol and violent behavior, create a potential risk of harm if this individual is given unsupervised visitation with children.

      Family Court routinely place parents on supervised visitation or restrict parenting time if the Court (or court officers) feel the parent may pose a danger to the children. The Family Court can also order treatment or intervention, and increase parenting time when the requirements are met, or if they feel the parent is no longer a risk of harm.

      The point – Ekanem has a history of alleged alcohol problems, violent behavior and the court had issued a warrant of commitment. Even if released on his own recognizance, these factors alone signify that he poses a risk of harm to his own children.

      Ekanem went on to spend a night drinking in the bar, and then brutally beat and raped a teenage girl. Part of the assault included throwing the girl on a car seat in the back of his SUV and raping her there.

      If Ekanem had a car seat in his SUV it is reasonable to assume he had some parenting time with his own children, that was unsupervised. What happened in this family court case is important to know because if the court failed to detect the risk of harm, the children may have been harmed or exposed to danger. Further, the actions of the family court in determining custody, and assessing Ekanem’s fitness as a parent, provide important information on the court’s rationale, and how it determines custody.

  2. E.E. says:

    I am indeed surprised at the comments about Owoidighe Ekanem.
    Owoidighe was in Nigeria and he stayed with me in my Residence in Nigeria in the month of Sept. 2015 and actively co-anchored / participated in a Children Bible Quiz program organized by myself for Children here in Nigeria. He left after this program back to the US.
    He is my senior brother’s first son. He has no history of bad behavior to the best of my knowledge through-out his entire life. I do hope that this is not a case of set-up ? I have chatted with his wife and also made similar remark. By God’s grace whatever is the reason behind this embarrassing story about Owoidighe shall end and he would be released.

    • Emily Court says:

      “Embarrassing story”? We are talking about the brutal beating and rape of a teenager. This is a serious criminal charge, not to mention has left not only physical scars but trauma and deep emotional harm on the victim.

      This story is being reported in credible news sources. I have also verified that he was booked into jail, and charged.

      I am not going to comment on what the wife is thinking or dealing with because I do not have that information. But I will say that women who are involved with men who have alcohol problems or abuse issues often do not feel safe reporting what is really happening in the home. Or may not even recognize the abuse. Or may have some form of trauma bonding. Or may just have conflicted feelings. It is premature to say or even suggest what the wife (or any other family member) is experiencing. These things take time and healing to cope with.

      Chisholm man accused of rape/kidnap/assault of female By Ramona Marozas

      Man finds teen alone in car on Iron Range, rapes and beats her, charges say by Paul Walsh

    • jay says:

      EK just reached a plea deal to spend 16 years in jail, he will be sentenced in late April. Now E.E what do you think about the embarrassing story not being true? Also, EK must register as sex offender when released.

  3. Jay says:

    I am not sure how EK pulled off getting a misdemeanor from stealing my debit card and stealing $2,600 over several transactions in a month. EK also had quit a few jobs, because he was accused of stealing drugs from patients. EK first wife brought him court few times for abuse charges. His 2nd wife was beaten up several times but never report it. He needs spend rest life in jail.

    • Emily Court says:

      Jay- So sorry for what you have been through. Thanks for the additional information. I hope the DA and courts respond with the harshest sentence possible for EK – who is truly a dangerous man, who poses a risk to society if released from prison.

      As of 3/162016, the St Louis County jail roster shows EK is being held with bail set $250,000.00

  4. Emily Court says:

    Sending prayers to the victim, and her family:
    The Victim’s mother said her daughter’s older sister went to school with Ekanem and she, herself, used to work with him.
    “It’s affecting everybody in her family and nobody is doing really good at all. He has as of now wrecked her life. She is a strong girl. I hope that she can get through and do what she’s got to do but as of now no he has wrecked her life from when it’s just starting,” said NP, close friend of the victim’s mother.
    The victim’s mother said her daughter is depressed and can’t even get out of her bed since the incident happened.
    She added that even though their family did have some connection to Ekanem, her daughter did not know him.
    “Chisholm man charged with kidnap and rape appears in court” by Tara Terregino, 10/22/2015, Northland News Center: http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/Chisholm-man-charged-with-kidnap-and-rape-appears-in-court-336063521.html

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