Sex complaint linked to Nunatsiavut president's leave

The president of the Inuit self-government in Labrador has stepped aside partly because of a sexual assault investigation, the acting president says.

The president of the Inuit self-government in Labrador has stepped aside, partly because of a sexual assault investigation, the acting president says.

William Andersen III took a leave of absence as Nunatsiavut president in November, citing personal reasons.

Tony Andersen, the acting president of Nunatsiavut, said an RCMP investigation is one of the main reasons Andersen stepped aside.

He said when members of the assembly heard about the sexual assault allegation, they approached Andersen.

"An informal gathering of the members of the assembly felt that perhaps it would be in everyone's interest, including the president, that it would be more appropriate for him to take a leave of absence," Tony Andersen told CBC News.

William Andersen III, a former member of Newfoundland and Labrador's legislature and veteran Inuit negotiator, could not be reached for comment. He is on an indefinite and paid leave of absence from Nunatsiavut.

Tony Andersen would not speculate on what would happen if the RCMP lay charges in the matter. He would not provide any details of the allegation.

CBC News has spoken to the father of the woman who made the complaint. He said the allegation revolves around a visit his daughter made to Andersen's house in Nain in the fall.

He said his daughter, 25, has given him few details.

William Andersen III faced a similar accusation in the past.

In 1989 he was charged with sexual assault, but was later acquitted.

The RCMP said the force cannot comment on any investigation that may or may not be underway.