After a months-long investigation, Dances with Wolves actor Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse was arrested and charged on suspicion of running a cult and sexually assaulting a multitude of young Indigenous girls over the last two decades.
The Las Vegas home of Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who goes by Nathan Chasing Horse, and his five wives was raided on Tuesday evening, according to The Associated Press, which first reported the story. Chasing Horse was arrested and taken into custody.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) said Chasing Horse was arrested on six charges: sexual assault of a child less than 16 years old, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sex trafficking of an adult and child abuse/neglect.
He is also accused of recording sexual assaults and arranging sex with the victims for other men who paid him.
Chasing Horse, 46, has not commented publicly on the charges against him.
A 50-page search warrant by the LVMPD and obtained by The Associated Press accused Chasing Horse of being the leader of a cult called The Circle.
Chasing Horse, who is best known for his role as the young Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film Dances with Wolves, is recognized by many as a healer and spiritual leader. Police allege Chasing Horse used this influence to abuse Indigenous girls in the U.S. and Canada.
Las Vegas police identified at least six victims, some as young as 13, in the search warrant. Police allege one of Chasing Horse’s wives was offered to him as a “gift” when she was 15, while another became his wife after turning 16.
“Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions,” the warrant reads.
The allegations of abuse by Chasing Horse reportedly began in the early 2000s.
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.
According to the warrant, he was banished in 2015 from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Mont., amid allegations of human trafficking.
The LVMPD investigation is ongoing.
Canadian impact and possible victims
In a release on Wednesday morning, the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service in Alberta said it has been collaborating and sharing information with the LVMPD as part of the investigation.
The release added there may be other victims in Alberta. The Tsuut’ina Nation police are working with the Calgary Police Service and other police agencies across the province to help those who may want to come forward.
Sgt. Nancy Farmer of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service told reporters on Tuesday that Chasing Horse traveled across Canada attending powwows, including those held in the Tsuut’ina Nation.
She also said his name has appeared in various social media posts and the agency is trying to piece together where he’s been.
These reasons led the police service to believe there may be more victims in Canada, but details are scarce because the investigation is still in the early stages.
“You can see that all over social media. It’s not a surprise to anybody. We’re paying special attention to this as we move forward in our investigation,” Farmer said.
“It is our understanding that he traveled not only throughout the U.S. but certainly throughout Canada and attended powwows, celebrations as well as (Sundance Film Festival).
“We’re hoping that some of the victims will come forward and work with us here so we’re able to provide support, either through a formal investigation or a support system because of the trauma they experienced.”
Farmer added the police service is reviewing historical sexual assault files and working with a dedicated Crown prosecutor. The investigation will look at files as far back as 10 to 15 years ago.
The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service has also contacted other provinces and other Crown prosecutors, according to Farmer.
However, she said officers will be taking special care when investigating sexual assault incidents.
“There are no statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, and we encourage anyone who has been a victim to report it even if it’s been many years since the incident occurred,” Farmer said.
“We’re seeing if these people live on our nation and if we should be reaching out to them, obviously respecting the fact there could be a level of trauma.
“We have to be very considerate and kind when we’re moving forward on something such as this.”
The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service said it encourages anyone who has been a victim of criminal sexual offences and other serious crimes to report the incident, even if many years have passed.
Anyone with information on this or other incidents is asked to contact the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service at 403-521-9660 or firstname.lastname@example.org, the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234 or a local RCMP detachment.
Those affected can also contact the following resources below:
- Stoney Corrections/ Victim Services- 403-238-5649
- Alberta Mental Health Helpline 1-877-303-2642
- Native Youth Crisis Hot Line – 1-877-209-1266
- Community Resources – 211 Alberta
- Crisis Text Line – Text CONNECT to 741741
- Family Violence – Find Supports – 310-1818
- Health Link – 811
- Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
They can also contact resources provided by the National Centre for Truth Reconciliation.
— With files from The Associated Press
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