Speaking with a voice from inside the ‘cultist’ school where Lee Chatfield is accused of rape

(WXYZ) – A former Northern Michigan Christian Academy student is speaking out against allegations of criminal sexual conduct by a teacher who also happens to be former Michigan House of Representatives Speaker Lee Chatfield.

Alexis Prince was a high school student when Lee Chatfield taught middle school. His accuser Rebekah Chatfield is now married to Aaron Chatfield a younger brother and was also in high school with Alexis.

Michigan State Police are investigating her claim that she was sexually assaulted for several years starting when she was 15 or 16. Lee Chatfield denies it.

Normally, we do not name alleged victims of sexual assault. But Rebekah wants her story told.

Alexis says she didn’t know Rebekah well but told 7 Action News: “She was definitely close to the Chatfields from what I could see.”

Aaron worked for his brother Lee while he was Speaker of the House until Lee left in 2020.

Alexis Prince left NMCA after just one year – 2011.

She describes him as “controlling, manipulative, abusive. Lots of rules that I would consider over the top and a little bigoted.

She is now 27, married, has 3 children and lives in Petosky about half an hour away.

“The church was, it was almost like his own, like his own little community and everyone knew the rules and you followed them,” she said.

She describes the school as men and boys were superior, students wore uniforms, girls could not be close to boys in school, long hair was encouraged for girls, and if a student stepped out of line, he could be spanked. “It always had to be in the office and there always had to be a male and female teacher present.”

Alexis Prince says she didn’t get spanked but your younger brother did. He had Lee Chatfield as his middle school teacher. Prince says it was mostly the younger students who received the corporal punishment, adding: “My brother never really talked about it, so I don’t know if it was with a paddle or a hand.”

Prince says she had a friend who died in a car accident 3 years ago who claimed she was raped by another NMCA student. And her friend had a meeting at the school office. “From what she said the principal and Rusty Chatfield the pastor. They were trying to convince her of what she was saying, to convince her that she was in fact the one who was wrong. She pressured him and led him down this path, and made him feel guilty for fundamentally corrupting him.

On Friday, 7 Action News received a statement from attorney Mary Chartier representing Lee Chatfield that Lee and Rebekah had a long, consensual relationship. The statement also said in part:

Mr Chatfield’s affair with this woman lasted for years, but they were both consenting adults over the age of 18.

During their affair, this woman regularly contacted Mr. Chatfield to initiate sexual encounters, and she took steps to conceal the affair from others, including her husband.

Alexis Prince says her friend was also a member of the Chatfield church and said: ‘She had to apologize to the congregation so she could stay at the school church, which is what she m ‘had said.”

Prince says people in the North don’t speak openly about this case. When they do, they say they are praying for both sides and waiting for the facts.

Prosecutor Chartier’s full statement on Friday:

Mr Chatfield’s affair with this woman lasted for years, but they were both consenting adults over the age of 18.

During their affair, this woman regularly contacted Mr. Chatfield to initiate sexual encounters, and she took steps to conceal the affair from others, including her husband. The actions she took prove a consensual affair, not an aggressive relationship. She lived out of state for about 3.5 years, but took steps to pursue the case which she is now trying to requalify.

Mr Chatfield did not “brainwash” the complainant, as she now claims to the media. She was a grown woman when their affair began and she chose to continue the affair.

We are not surprised that this woman is trying to prepare for a civil trial, but there is no basis to her claims.

We called Rusty Chatfield the pastor and head of the school and got no response.

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