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Former chief and MLA charged with rape
Third Behchoko man has been charged with rape and indecent assault dating back to 1979

Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A former Behchoko chief and MLA has been charged with rape and indecent assault 32 years after the alleged incident took place.

NNSL photo/graphic

Leon Lafferty: Rape charge laid against former chief and MLA. - NNSL photo

Leon Lafferty, who served as chief of Behchoko from 2005 to 2009 and North Slave MLA from 1999 to 2003, is now one of three men charged in the community relating to the same case.

Leonard Camsell and Jonas Bouvier are facing the same charges, which stem from an incident alleged to have occurred on March 1, 1979.

All three men are scheduled to appear in territorial court on Dec. 20.

This marks Bouvier's second charge for a sexual offence. In 2007 he was sentenced to five months in jail after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Before Bouvier's sentencing in 2007, Lafferty was one of several community members to submit letters of support for Bouvier. In it, he requested house arrest or probation for Bouvier and commented on his good character.

"I have never seen him to show anger or to be mean to another person," Lafferty wrote.

Monfwi MLA Jackson Lafferty also wrote a letter of support for Bouvier.

Lynn Brooks, NWT Status of Women Council president at the time, consequently called for Jackson Lafferty to resign. He later apologized to the victim.

"This poor woman who was assaulted found herself with no support from her community leaders," Brooks wrote.

Cpl. Ben Parry with the Behchoko RCMP said that a fourth suspect, who is now deceased, was also being investigated.

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