Native American leader faces five counts of criminal sexual conduct

May 11, 2015

Derek Bailey (left) at his arraignment Monday with his attorney Craig Elhart.
Credit Peter Payette

A tribal councilor in Leelanau County is accused of criminal sexual conduct. The charges against Derek Bailey involve girls under the age of 13.

Bailey is a council member for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He was formerly the chair of the council and also ran for state office in 2012.

Now he faces five counts of criminal sexual conduct and the most serious charges, first degree, could get him a life sentence. Bailey’s attorney says he plans to plead not guilty.

Court filings say the alleged incidents took place with two girls over a number of years in Leelanau County, where Bailey lives, and other counties.

It also refers to “numerous” other incidents that are still being investigated.

Bailey remains in jail after a judge refused to set bond noting the severity of the charges.