Las Vegas police on Tuesday arrested and searched the home of a former Dances With Wolves actor-turned-suspect cult leader accused of sexually assaulting young Indigenous girls over a two-decade period have, according to police records from The Associated Press.
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who calls himself Nathan Chasing Horse, was taken into custody this afternoon near the north Las Vegas home he allegedly shares with his five wives. SWAT officers were seen outside the two-story home in the evening as detectives searched the property.
Known for his role as a young member of the Sioux tribe Smiles a Lot in the Oscar-winning film directed by Kevin Costner, Chasing Horse gained a reputation among tribes in the United States and Canada as a so-called medicine man, conducting healing ceremonies and spiritual gatherings and , police claim, used his position to abuse young Native American girls.
His arrest is the culmination of a months-long investigation that began after police received a tip in October 2022. According to a 50-page search warrant obtained by AP, Chasing Horse is believed to be the leader of a cult called The Circle.
And it comes as attorneys general and lawmakers across the US are considering establishing specialized units to handle cases involving Indigenous women.
In South Dakota, the Attorney General’s office has put a new focus on crimes against Native Americans, including human trafficking and murders.
According to the document, Las Vegas police have identified at least six alleged victims and uncovered sexual allegations against Chasing Horse dating back to the early 2000s in several states, including Montana, South Dakota and Nevada, where he has lived for about a decade.
Chasing Horse’s court filings did not list an attorney who could speak for him as of Tuesday night.
Chasing Horse was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Sicangu Sioux, one of the seven tribes of the Lakota Nation.
According to the warrant, he was banned from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, in 2015 on allegations of human trafficking.
“Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions,” it says, adding that his followers believed he could communicate with higher beings and called him “medicine man” or ” Saint” designated person.”
Although the warrant includes details of crimes reported elsewhere, the arrest is based on crimes allegedly committed in Clark County, Nevada. These include sex trafficking, sexually assaulting a child under the age of 16 and child abuse.
According to the arrest warrant, some of the alleged victims were only 13 years old. One of Chasing Horse’s wives was reportedly offered to him as a “gift” when she was 15, while another became a wife after she was 16.
Chasing Horse is also accused of recording sexual assaults and arranging sex with the victims for other men who allegedly paid him.