A former “Dances With Wolves” actor accused of sexually abusing Native American girls and women over two decades in multiple states has been indicted in Nevada for crimes prosecutors say occurred in the Las Vegas area since 2012.
Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, was formally charged on monday in the morning during a brief appearance in a North Las Vegas courthouse full of friends and family hoping to see him released on bail. But a judge postponed hearing arguments about his custody status until Wednesday to give Chasing Horse’s new California-based attorney, Alexandra Kazaria, additional time to obtain permission from the Nevada State Bar to represent him. if.
Nevada law requires prosecutors to present compelling evidence that the defendant should remain in custody. Clark County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Walsh said last week that she was awaiting testimony from Las Vegas police detectives, FBI special agents and the victims.
Meanwhile, Chasing Horse is held without bail at a downtown Las Vegas jail. He has been in custody since his arrest Jan. 31 near the North Las Vegas home he shares with his five wives.
Chasing Horse stands charged with eight felonies, including sex trafficking, sexual assault of a child under 16, and child abuse, according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors also presented an additional felony charge Monday in connection with what detectives said were videos saved on a phone showing sexual assaults on a minor.
Sitting in front of the Chasing Horse family on Monday, some of the victims and their supporters held signs inside the courtroom reading “NO MORE STOLEN SISTERS” and “NO WOMEN PRISONERS.”
Rulon Pete, executive director of the Las Vegas Indian Center, said after the hearing that the victims were prepared “to help make sure that justice has been served.”
“Unfortunately, they are experiencing a lot of anxiety,” he told The Associated Press after speaking with the victims and prosecutors. “When this was delayed, it was like adding more weight to the situation.”
He did not plead guilty Monday after being indicted. In Nevada, defendants do not plead guilty until their criminal case is transferred to state district court, either after a grand jury indictment or after a judge decides that prosecutors have enough evidence for the defendant to be convicted. court.
Chasing Horse played the role of Sioux tribesman Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Oscar-winning film.
Since then, he has built a reputation among tribes in the United States and Canada as a “medicine man.” Chasing Horse, police said, abused that position, taking underage wives for two decades in various states, including South Dakota, Montana, and Nevada, where he has lived for about a decade. Also he was banished from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, in 2015 following similar allegations.
Detectives described Chasing Horse in a 50-page search warrant as the leader of a cult known as The Circle, whose followers believed he could communicate with higher powers.
Pete of the Las Vegas Indian Center described the role of the healer in his culture as a highly respected leadership position. “They are like priests, if you will.”
“You follow what they teach,” he said, adding that the victims have shown great courage in speaking up despite the intimidation and threats Pete said they have faced since Chasing Horse’s arrest.
A Chasing Horse arrest report shows they identified themselves at least six victims, including one who was 13 when she said she was abused, and another who said she was offered as a “gift” when she was 15.
After SWAT officers took him into custody last week, detectives searched the family’s home and found weapons, 41 pounds (18.5 kilograms) of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, according to the arrest report.
The criminal complaint filed Monday also charges Chasing Horse with two misdemeanors in connection with a dead bald eagle and parts of a dead hawk discovered during a search of his property.
Chasing Horse was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, which is home to the Sicangu Sioux, one of the seven tribes of the Lakota nation.
(with information from AP)
A ‘Dances with Wolves’ actor was accused of leading a cult and sexually abusing girls and women