Now 26, Rebekah said that Lee began abusing her when she was a minor and was dating his younger brother, Aaron. She alleged that the abuse continued well into her adulthood and after she got married to Lee’s brother, claiming that the politician sexually assaulted her as recently as last year.
News broke on Friday that Lee Chatfield was being investigated by state and local police, pursuant to a criminal complaint. Later, Rebekah named herself as the accuser in a tell-all interview with Bridge Michigan.
While the allegations remain under investigation, no charges have been filed thus far.
Rebekah Chatfield Details Alleged Abuse
In the shocking interview with Bridge, Rebekah accused Lee of groping and eventually raping her in countless instances over the course of a decade.
“He destroyed me, and has controlled my life since I was 15-16, the past 10-11 years,” she told the outlet. “And I know the only way to get justice for this is to come forward and to file a criminal [complaint] against him.”
When the alleged abuse began, Rebekah said, she was a student at Northern Michigan Christian Academy, a private school where the Chatfields held several positions of prominence. Lee was then a teacher and a soccer coach at the school, while his father Rusty was reportedly the school’s superintendent and the pastor of the on-campus church.
She said that Lee began abusing her when she was dating his younger brother Aaron, who she later married in 2014. It began with unwanted groping, she claimed, and quickly escalated into full-on intercourse that occurred “more times than I can count,” she alleged.
“I had a lot of family stuff going on in my life,” she told Bridge. “My dad was a recovering alcoholic, and so I believe that Lee used those [circumstances] against me and helped take advantage of me. So he would manipulate me, he would mess with my emotions.”
Rebekah continued: “My whole world was the Chatfield family. So if I told them, that would, that would ruin everything. I couldn’t see what would happen past then. I didn’t know there was an option to report. I didn’t know there were options for therapy.”
She said she reached her breaking point in December, and soon after filed a criminal complaint against her alleged abuser.
Aaron Chatfield, Rebekah’s husband and Lee’s younger brother, said he believes his wife and supports her decision to come forward.
“I always had questions,” he said. “I don’t remember how I asked, I just remember saying, ‘Is something going on between you and Lee?’ I just saw the way he looked at her […] I’m rethinking every conversation I ever had with Lee.”
Lee Chatfield Admits Affair, Denies Abuse
Lee Chatfield, 33, has not commented on the allegations directly, but his lawyer issued a statement on the matter, claiming that he and Rebekah carried on a consensual affair for years but denying all allegations of misconduct.
“Mr. Chatfield deeply regrets the decisions he has made,” read the statement. “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.”
His father Rusty Chatfield has also said that “the allegations are false.”
Lee served three terms in the Michigan state House of Representatives. He left office in 2021, per the state’s term limit law. During his tenure as speaker, Lee was the youngest Michgander to hold that position in over a century.