NORTH LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former “Dances with Wolves” cast member facing at least five felony counts for allegedly sexually abusing an indigenous girl is scheduled to face a judge for the first time in the case Thursday.
Potential charges against Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, include sex trafficking and sexual assault, according to court records. Clark County prosecutors have not said when he will be formally charged or if more charges will be filed.
Las Vegas police arrested Chasing Horse this week following a month-long investigation into alleged abuse of power that authorities said spanned 20 years.
He remained in the Clark County Jail without bond Wednesday night on sexual assault charges. A judge is expected to resolve his custody status and possible bail on Thursday.
Chasing Horse, best known for his portrayal of a young Sioux tribesman in the Academy Award-winning Kevin Costner film, is known among tribes in the United States and Canada as a so-called priest performing healing rituals. wizard.
He is believed to be the leader of a cult called The Circle with a large following who believe he can communicate with higher powers, according to the arrest warrant.
Police allege he abused his position by physically and sexually assaulting Aboriginal girls and women, marrying underage wives and leading a cult. He was arrested outside the home he shared with five wives near Las Vegas.
Chasing Horse was born in Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota, home to the Sicangu Sioux Nation, one of the seven Lakota tribes.
A 50-page search warrant obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday alleges Chase trained his wife to use a firearm, instructing them to “shoot” with police when they tried to “break up the family.” If it fails, the wives will take “suicide drugs”.
He was detained as he was leaving his North Las Vegas home. SWAT officers were seen outside the two-storey home at night as detectives searched the property.
Police found the gun, 41 pounds (18.5 kilograms) of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, and a memory card containing multiple videos of the sexual assault, according to an arrest report released Wednesday.
Additional charges may be brought against videos of underage girls, the report said.
No attorney in court records was available to comment on his behalf, and Las Vegas police said Chasing Horse was “unavailable” for a prison interview on Wednesday.
Las Vegas police said in a search warrant that investigators identified at least six sexual assault victims, including one who claimed to have been abused when he was 13 years old. Police also traced the horse-chasing sex allegations back to the early 2000s in Canada and multiple states, including South Dakota, Montana and Nevada, where he lived for about a decade.
According to police, one of Chasing Horse’s wives was given to him as a “gift” when he was 15, while the other became his wife after 16. He is also accused of documenting the sexual assault and arranging for sex between the victim and other men who paid him.
His arrest comes nearly a decade after he was evicted from the Fort Pike reservation in Poplar, Montana, on human-trafficking charges.
Fort Peck tribal leaders voted 7-0 in 2015 to bar Chasing Horse from ever setting foot on the reservation again, citing alleged trafficking and drug dealing, emotional abuse and intimidation of tribal members, Indian County Today reported.
Angeline Cheek, an activist and community organizer who has lived on the Fort Peck reservation most of her life, said she vividly remembers the tension in the council chamber when Chasing Horse was banished.
“Some of Nathan’s supporters told members that something bad was going to happen to them,” Cheek told The Associated Press. “They made threats against our elders sitting in the council chamber.”
Cheek said she remembers Chasing Horse coming to the reservation frequently as a child, especially during her high school days in the early 2000s, when she would see him chatting with classmates.
Cheek, 34, said she hopes Chasing Horse’s arrest will inspire more Indigenous girls and women to report crimes and push lawmakers and elected officials across the United States to prioritize violence against Indigenous peoples.
But she said she also hopes the cultural significance of witch doctors doesn’t get lost in the crime news.
“We have good doctors, men and women among our people who are not trying to commercialize the sacred ways of our ancestors,” she said. “They should heal people, not hurt people.”
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