Michigan Attorney General's Office assisting with Chatfield investigation

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office is now "assisting" with the investigation into former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield, spokeswoman Lynsey Mukomel said Monday.

Chatfield's sister-in-law, Rebekah Chatfield, has accused the former speaker of sexually abusing her, beginning when she was 15 years old. Her lawyer, Jamie White, has also said there are unspecified financial allegations against the former Republican lawmaker of Levering.

Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump at a rally in Norton Shores on Oct. 17, 2020. Chatfield has been accused of sexually assaulting his sister-in-law beginning when she was 15. He admits to an affair with her but said through his attorney it did not begin until she was an adult.

Lee Chatfield, who left office at the end of 2020 because of term limits, has denied any wrongdoing. His attorney, Mary Chartier, has said the two individuals were consenting adults.

While Nessel's office didn't reveal why it is assisting, the statewide reach of the office would help in an investigation where multiple jurisdictions are involved.

"The department is assisting the Michigan State Police as it continues its investigation," Nessel's spokeswoman Lynsey Mukomel said Monday. "We will not be commenting further given this remains open and ongoing."

More:Michigan's expanded time frame for abuse reporting may affect Chatfield case

The investigation focuses on allegations that Lee Chatfield sexually abused Rebekah Chatfield for about 12 years, starting when she was a teenager and attending his family's church, Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church, White has said. She also attended the school where he taught.

White called Nessel's assistance "good news" on Monday, adding that it will ensure an objective review.

"I think it’s a good thing," White said.

The Lansing Police Department, where Chatfield's sister-in-law initially presented her allegations, has also been involved in the probe.

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More:New scrutiny could loom for former Speaker Chatfield's 'prodigious' fundraising

cmauger@detroitnews.com

Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.