NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — former “Dances with Wolves” actor accused of sexual assault of local girls and a cult leader must be held without bail until his next court appearance, a judge ordered Thursday morning.
Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, is charged with sex trafficking, sexual assault of a child under the age of 16 and child abuse. He is under arrest from his arrest on Tuesday afternoon near the North Las Vegas home he shares with his five wives.
He made a brief first appearance in court Thursday as he was taken into custody, but did not speak before North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Belinda Harris set a bond hearing for Monday. Horse stalking has not been formally charged.
Another judge is expected to discuss Chasing Horse’s arrest status on Monday and may set bail after hearing from attorneys and investigators, as well as victims and relatives of the accused, if they speak.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney Jessica Walsh told Harris she expects Las Vegas police detectives, FBI special agents and victims to speak at the hearing.
On Thursday, public defender Michael Wilfong said the defendant had “tremendous support,” pointing to the front row in the court gallery where members of the Chasing Horse family sat. His relatives declined to comment as they left court, as did Wilfong.
Best known for his role as a young member of the Sioux tribe in Kevin Costner’s Oscar-winning film “Many Smiles,” Horseman gained a reputation among tribes across the United States and Canada as a so-called medicine man who performed healing rituals. did
According to an arrest warrant released Wednesday, he is the leader of a cult known as The Circle, whose followers believed he could communicate with higher powers. Police said he abused his position to physically and sexually assault indigenous girls and took minor wives for two decades.
Chasing Horse was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, home to the Sikangue Sioux, one of the seven tribes of the Lakota Nation.
A 50-page search warrant obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press alleges that Chasing Horse taught his wives how to use firearms and instructed them to “shoot” police officers if they “disrupted their family.” “. If that didn’t work, he told his wives to take “suicide pills.”
SWAT officers and detectives took Chasing Horse into custody and cleared the family’s home without incident.
According to Chasing Horse’s arrest report, investigators who searched Chasing Horse’s property and vehicles found firearms, 41 pounds (18.5 kilograms) of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, and a memory stick with numerous sexual assault videos.
Additional charges could be filed in connection with the videos, the report said.
Las Vegas police said in a search warrant that investigators have identified at least six victims of sexual assault, including one who was 13 years old when she was harassed. Police also pursued sex allegations against Chasing Horse in the early 2000s in Canada and in several states, including South Dakota, Montana and Nevada, where he lived for nearly a decade.
According to the police, one of the Chasing Horse women was offered to him as a “gift” when he was 15, while the other became his wife when he was 16. He is also accused of recording sexual assaults and arranging sex between the victims and other men who paid money. she
His arrest comes nearly a decade after he was expelled from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, on charges of human trafficking.
Fort Peck tribal leaders voted 7-0 to ban Chasing Horse from walking back onto the reservation in 2015, citing alleged trafficking and allegations of drug trafficking, spiritual abuse and intimidation of tribal members, Indian Country Today reported.
Angeline Cheick, an activist and community organizer who has lived on the Fort Peck reservation for most of her life, said she vividly remembers the tension that arose inside tribal council chambers when Chasing Horse was exiled.
“Some of Nathan’s supporters told members that something bad was going to happen to them,” Cheek told the AP. “They were threatening our elders sitting in the council chambers.”
Cheick said he remembered Chasing Horse visiting the reservation often when he was growing up, especially during his high school years in the early 2000s when he would see him hanging out with his classmates.
Cheick, now 34, said she hopes the arrest of Chasing Horse will get more Native girls and women to report the crimes and prompt lawmakers and elected officials across the U.S. to prioritize addressing violence against Native people. .
But she said she also hopes the cultural significance of medicine men doesn’t get lost in the crime news.
“There are good medicine men and women among our people who are not trying to commercialize the sacred ways of our ancestors,” Cheek said. “They should be healing people, not harming them.”
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