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Chasing Horse pleads not guilty in Nevada sex abuse case

Former Dances With Wolves actor also linked to complaints in B.C.
Nathan Chasing Horse listens to Chief Deputy Clark County District Attorney William Rowles speaking in court in North Las Vegas, Nev., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. Bail has been set at $300,000 for the former "Dances With Wolves" actor charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls. (AP Photo/Ty O’Neil)

A former “Dances With Wolves” actor pleaded not guilty Wednesday to state charges that he sexually abused Indigenous women and girls for a decade in Nevada.

Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, appeared briefly in Clark County District Court following his indictment last week on 19 charges, including sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping and drug trafficking.

He has been jailed in Las Vegas on $300,000 bond since his arrest Jan. 31 near the home in North Las Vegas that he shared with five women he described as his wives.

Authorities describe Chasing Horse as the leader of a cult known as The Circle who took underage wives. They allege that at the time of his arrest he was grooming young girls to replace his older wives.

Born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Chasing Horse is widely known for his role as Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Oscar-winning film.

His arrest by Las Vegas police followed a monthslong probe that officials said was prompted by a tip from Canadian authorities investigating Chasing Horse in connection with a 2018 rape allegation in British Columbia.

Authorities in Las Vegas allege that his crimes in Nevada spanned a decade. According to court documents, they also uncovered a pattern of sexual abuse dating back to the early 2000s across multiple states, including Montana and South Dakota, as well as Canada.

Documents show at least six victims have been identified, including one who said she was 13 when sexual abuse began, and another who said she was offered to Chasing Horse as a “gift” when she was 15.

Criminal cases against Chasing Horse are mounting, and he now faces charges in four jurisdictions — in state court in Las Vegas, in U.S. District Court in Nevada, in British Columbia and on the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana.

Inside Chasing Horse’s home, court documents say detectives found firearms, psilocybin mushrooms, 41 pounds of marijuana and two cellphones containing videos and photos of underage girls being sexually assaulted. The footage led to federal child pornography charges.

—Rio Yamat, The Associated Press

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