A new report from PEOPLE has reportedly confirmed the existence of an investigation by the Michigan State Police into former Michigan House Rep. and Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield, after heinous allegations of sexual assault against a minor were lodged against him — by his own sister-in-law.
An attorney for Chatfield’s sister-in-law, who is now 26-years-old, spoke with PEOPLE and stated that his client has accused the now 33-year-old former Republican lawmaker of sexually assaulting her for approximately 10 years — from the time she was a child of 15 until July of 2021.
The attorney, Jamie White, stated, “There was an ongoing pattern of assault for several years when she was a minor and took place in the home of Mr. Chatfield where she babysat and was involved with the family’s religious celebrations.”
As we’ve come to expect in instances such as this, Chatfield has been quick to speak out against the allegations via his own attorney, claiming that his sister-in-law is mischaracterizing a relationship between two consenting adults, and made it clear that he “intends to vigorously fight these false claims.”
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Rebekah Chatfield, through her attorney, claims that the numerous sexual assaults began when she attended Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church and Northern Michigan Christian Academy, where Chatfield served as the athletic director and government teacher, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“These are allegations that [Lee Chatfield] used his position of power and influence while in the church and school and had an ongoing sexual relationship with this young teenager girl that lasted beyond her teenage years and after [Chatfield’s] brother married her.”
Chatfield’s attorney Mary Chartier released a statement in which a relationship between Chatfield and the accuser was acknowledged, but claimed that it was consensual and the former lawmaker did not sexually assault her.
“Mr. Chatfield is innocent of the false rape claims made against him. He had affairs while he was married, including a sexual relationship with the woman who is now claiming she was raped. Their affair lasted for years, but they were both consenting adults as she was over 18. Mr. Chatfield deeply regrets the decisions he has made. It has caused great pain to his wife and family, and they are working through this together. But he did not assault this woman in any manner during their years-long adult relationship. He intends to vigorously fight these false claims.”
You can read the full report from PEOPLE here.