Ex-Speaker Lee Chatfield accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his sister-in-law

Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering. - MICHIGAN HOUSE
Michigan House
Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering.

Michigan State Police are investigating allegations that former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield repeatedly sexually assaulted his sister-in-law over 12 years, beginning when she was a teenager.

The assaults began when she was 14 or 15 years old and a member of Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church in Burt Lake, where Chatfield’s father Rusty is the longtime pastor, the sister-in-law’s lawyer Jamie White, told Crain’s Detroit.

The assaults allegedly continued until July 2021. The woman is now 26.

Chatfield, a Republican from Levering, served three two-year terms in the House from 2015 to 2020 and was the speaker during the last two years. Term limits prevented him from running for a fourth term.

In the 2014 primary election, he defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Frank Foster by pledging to fight lawmakers’ efforts to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

His opposition to LGBTQ protections cost him a six-figure job as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, an economic development group.

Before his time in office, Chatfield was a teacher and soccer coach at a private Christian school run by his father’s church.

Metro Times couldn’t reach Chatfield for comment.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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