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Prime Minister's adopted son accused of sexual assault

Complainant's mother said she was pressured by Liberal MP Blondin-Andrew

Tara Kearsey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 26/02) - The mother of an 18-year-old woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by the Prime Minister's adopted son last week, says she has been pressured by Liberal MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew not to press criminal charges.

NNSL Photo

  • In 1992, Michel Chretien was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Montreal a year earlier and was sentenced to three years in a federal penitentiary.
  • In an unrelated incident in 1997, he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend's six-year-old son and received a nine-month suspended sentence.

  • The 18-year-old Yellowknife woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Michel Chretien, 31, inside his Yellowknife apartment on July 15.

    On the night of the alleged attack the victim said she and Chretien were drinking heavily with another friend. Her entire body shaking and her voice quivering, the victim told Yellowknifer the attack occurred after the third party left for the evening.

    The victim said she was in a state of shock for about a week after the assault. Then last Friday she decided to break the silence and tell her mother what had happened to her.

    "I was so scared," said the complainant, still trying to accept that a long-time acquaintance had violated her.

    On Wednesday the complainant and her mother decided to file a complaint with the Yellowknife RCMP detachment. But not before contacting the Prime Minister's office in Ottawa to inform him the attack had occurred.

    The mother left a message with the PMO and soon after received a call from Western Arctic Liberal MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew. The complainant's mother is also a long-time acquaintance of Blondin-Andrew.

    "I think she was trying to put pressure on me to not press charges, because she almost did it (convinced her not to)," said the mother.

    "When I first spoke to Ethel she was really heartbroken and everything ... then she said 'you and I go back a long time.'

    "'I just spoke to the Prime Minister,' she said, and then she told me he is the Prime Minister, he has all the power and he will fight this case for Michel. Then she told me that 'a lot of dirty things are going to come up about your past and the media will be there.'"

    "I almost changed my mind (about pressing charges) because of that," said the complainant's mother.

    The mother said Blondin-Andrew called her home three times Wednesday, asking many questions. She said Blondin-Andrew then offered to pay for the victim's family to attend a healing circle.

    At the end of their final conversation the Liberal MP said she would stand behind the Prime Minister no matter what the cost, said the mother.

    As of yesterday the RCMP had not pressed charges against Chretien. When asked if a complaint had been filed against the PM's son, Sgt. Al McCambridge said he "could not confirm or deny" whether Chretien was under investigation because no criminal charges have been laid.

    Meanwhile, the mother of the complainant is worried that her daughter's alleged attacker will not be brought to justice because of the power his father holds.

    "I really want him to be tried fairly without the influence of the Prime Minister," she says.

    And she is not happy with the RCMP's methods in dealing with her daughter's complaint.

    "If it had been any other person they would have already had him on the news and in the (jail) cell," she said.

    Calls to the Prime Minister's Office and Ethel Blondin-Andrew's constituency office were not returned by deadline.