One of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) chiefs was arrested for an alleged sexual assault of over a year ago.
On January 13, Kanehsata’kehró:non Victor Bonspille willingly turned himself in to the Surete du Quebec (SQ) after he received a letter by mail, endorsing a warrant against him.
The St. Jerome courthouse issued a warrant against Bonspille on December 22, for aggression that would have taken place between the MCK vice-chief Patricia Meilleur and Bonspille. The vice-chief had filed a complaint against Bonspille last April and the file had been under investigation ever since.
The SQ confirmed that they released the 50-year-old man with a promise to appear in court at a later date. Bonspille will officially be accused of sexual assault on February 24, at the St. Jerome courthouse.
Kanesatake grand chief Serge Otsi Simon was reluctant to comment on the issue, saying that it hasn’t been decided yet if Bonspille can continue to sit on council as chief while the accusation hangs over his head.
“Until this is brought to the other chiefs’ attention, I need to look at what our options are going to be,” said Simon.
However, the grand chief also finds himself a part of another legal case.
Earlier in October, Bonspille filed a defamation lawsuit against both Simon and Meilleur. It was claimed that the grand chief and the vice-chief used threats, false accusations and insults toward Bonspille - resulting in the latter seeking $75,000 in damage.
The first hearing is set for next Thursday, January 28.
Legal documents obtained by The Eastern Door showed that the plaintiff’s name was repeatedly mentioned over social media in many statements by the MCK, as the initiator of misinformation, which caused division within the community. It also revealed that Meilleur filed a complaint against Bonspille in regards to the sexual assault allegedly suffered on January 29, 2020. A second criminal investigation, filed this time in December 2019 by the grand chief, placed Bonspille in the middle of potential fraud accusations.
Both allegations were denied by Bonspille, stating that he’s been wrongfully accused.
Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door