Disclaimer: The Chess Drum takes no position of guilt or innocence against Severine Wamala.
Last September, a disturbing story broke about the arrest of Severine Wamala on counts of incest and rape while serving as a math teacher at Lowell High School. Three young women have confessed that Wamala had repeatedly sexually assaulted them. It was said that one was assaulted as early as age 10. Wamala debunks these claims and while languishing in state prison (ordered held on $1 million bail) demanded a speedy trial.
Wamala, a native of Uganda, immigrated to the U.S. in 1988. He became a citizen and earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The 46-year old chess organizer is also known by his three children, Jacob, Jessica, and Yowana, all standouts in their age categories. Jacob has a USCF rating of 2073 and Jessica has represented her state in the Polgar Championship for Girls and was a standout basketball player. The sad part is that this episode may have caused irreparable damage to the family since there was a domestic aspect to the case.
In a recent press release from the Lowell Sun, they have stated that the Wamala trial has begun. A couple of months ago, Wamala had written a letter to the Boylston Chess Club asking for support and a pleading for a speedy trial. At that point he had been held for nine months, unable to raise the $1 million. There are no further details about the trial or the case, but we will stay tuned for future developments.
Lisa Redmond, “Rape trial begins for ex-teacher,” Lowell Sun, 19 August 2007.
Related Google links on the Wamala case.