Several layers of possible trouble for former House Speaker Lee Chatfield

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 17:30:23-05

(WXYZ) — We’re learning more about investigations into possible sexual assault and possible misconduct in office with former House Speaker Lee Chatfield.

We normally don’t identify victims of sexual assault. But the Attorney for Rebekah Chatfield says she wants her story to be told and her case to get justice. Rebekah Chatfield is Lee Chatfield’s sister-in-law.

Lansing Police and Michigan State Police will investigate several layers.

Attorney James White tells 7 Action News the criminal complaint was made, “making sure that Mr. Chatfield is held accountable. Anybody that aided and abetted him is held accountable.”

Lee Chatfield’s Attorney, Mary Chartier in a statement to 7 Action News denies any wrongdoing and says their affair was consensual when they were adults over 18. And that Lee Chatfield did not “brainwash” Rebekah as she has claimed to the media.

Rebekah Chatfield accuses Lee Chatfield of sexually assaulting her over some ten years starting at age 15 or 16 while she was a student at the Northern Michigan Christian Academy run by Lee Chatfield’s father. Lee is 7 years older than Rebekah and was a teacher.

Rebekah is married to Aaron Chatfield, Lee’s younger brother.

“The idea that Mrs. Chatfield was individually an anomaly in the situation is outrageous based on our experience,” Attorney White said.

The full statement from Attorney Mary Chartier says:

Mr. Chatfield’s affair with this woman lasted for years, but they were both consenting adults over 18.

During their affair, this woman regularly contacted Mr. Chatfield to initiate sexual encounters, and she took steps to hide the affair from others, including her husband. The actions that she took prove a consensual affair and not an assaultive relationship. She lived out of state for roughly 3.5 years, yet she took steps to continue the affair that she is now trying to recharacterize.

Mr. Chatfield did not “brainwash” the complainant, as she now claims to the media. She was an adult woman when their affair began, and she chose to continue the affair.

We’re not surprised that this woman is attempting to gear up for a civil lawsuit, but there is no merit to her claims.

White represents clients in the Michigan State University Dr. Larry Nassar sexual assault case and clients in the University of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson.

White tells 7 Action News, “We also represent several hundred Boy Scouts that allegedly been abused from all over the country. So, this has become our work.”

Republicans control the House and would not say on Wednesday when they returned from the holidays if they will conduct an internal investigation.

“I think that's gonna land one hundred percent on law enforcement and they appear to be dialed in on that,” Attorney White tells 7 Action News.

The statement from Attorney Chartier did not address any possible misconduct in office.

The stakes are high for 33-year-old Lee Chatfield who left office two years ago and was the youngest House Speaker.

So much to play out and the audience is growing.

“I think they’re going to see the most disgraced unethical speaker the house in the history of the State of Michigan. You know, I think by his own admissions, we're already there. It's going to get worse,” Attorney White said.