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

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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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