LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Actor Nathan Chasing Horse is accused of sexually assaulting underage indigenous girls, sex trafficking and spiritual abuse, according to new documents released Wednesday.
Las Vegas Metro police took Chasing Horse into custody in North Las Vegas on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, authorities in Canada announced they are also investigating the “Dances With Wolves” actor.
Chasing Horse, 46, had multiple victims, three of which were allegedly sexually assaulted in Clark County, according to documents.
“This is a very serious, serious situation as the events and the information starting rolling out,” Sgt. Nancy Farmer of the Tsuut’Ina Nation Police Service said during a press conference in Canada on Wednesday. “It’s tragic.”
He portrayed himself as a “holy man” or “medicine man” to gain the trust of native families and children, using that trust to give young girls a sense of belonging before assaulting them, detectives wrote in documents.
Detectives noted that Chasing Horse was considered to be a “holy man,” “leader,” and “chief” within the group, but the title was never given to him by the Lakota tribal government.
Chasing Horse’s group of victims was referred to as “The Circle.” Some indigenous community members accused them of being a cult.
“Much of this stems from Nathan’s practice of acquiring multiple wives, many of whom investigators believe were forced to engage in sexual intercourse with Nathan as minors,” detectives wrote in the documents.
A victim came forward to report that Chasing Horse had sexually assaulted her in September 2018 in British Columbia.
The victim said she was told to reach out to Chasing Horse for medical assistance for a family member and Chasing Horse healed the family member’s injury. After this, the victim joined “The Circle,” documents said.
Chasing Horse allegedly told the victim they were destined to meet and that she was “different and special.” A short time later, he adopted the victim as his granddaughter in a “spiritual way” during a ceremony, documents said.
Chasing Horse traveled around the United States and Canada for spiritual ceremonies in Native American communities, according to documents.
Chasing Horse showered the victim with “lavish” gifts and paid for some of her expenses, and the victim considered them to be very close. During this time, she had met three of Chasing Horse’s wives and was instructed to call them “grandma,” documents said.
The victim detailed a time when Chasing Horse’s fourth wife, who was 15 at the time, was presented to him in an offering ceremony, according to documents.
Chasing Horse, who is believed to have as many as six wives, allegedly severely physically and sexually abused them, with one wife claiming that he had raped her when she was 9 years old, according to documents.
Chasing Horse moved to North Las Vegas in 2012 and told the victim to come see him. The victim was instructed to bring cash and gifts and to cook for him when she arrived, documents said.
Once at his home, the victim was instructed to bring the food up to a bedroom, where he told her that she was “going to be of service” and that she would “have to offer her body to the spirits,” so that he could help one of her family members with an illness, documents said.
“He told me my body was no longer mine… he said I needed to say ‘yes,’ or my [family member] was going to die,” the victim told police, according to documents. “He told me my virginity was the last pure part of me and that needed to be given.”
Chasing Horse then allegedly raped the victim and gave her an emergency contraceptive pill. She was 14 at the time, documents said.
He allegedly continued to rape the victim several times for approximately one to three months and documented the assaults on several occasions, documents said.
The victim became one of Chasing Horse’s wives after she turned 16 and moved in with him and his other wives. Detectives noted that there was no documentation of the marriage and that Chasing Horse did not want documentation, according to documents.
Years later, when the victim said she wanted to leave Chasing Horse, he allegedly physically abused her and forced her into sex trafficking.
Chasing Horse forced the victim to engage in sex acts with other men for several months, documents said. He had also allegedly been forcing several of his other wives into sex trafficking.
Additionally, Chasing Horse would give his wives narcotics in different doses and gave them “suicide pills” to take in case he died or law enforcement tried to break them apart. He also showed the wives how to shoot guns so they could “shoot it out” with police if they had to, documents said.
Chasing Horse is also accused of having several unsecured firearms and ammunition in his North Las Vegas home, where there were often children between the age of 2 to 12 years old, documents said.
One victim described seeing Chasing Horse befriending mothers who had young daughters and bringing young girls into his home, documents said.
In 2015, a victim of Chasing Horse came to police to report that he had sexually assaulted her in 2014. The case was closed without detectives ever speaking to Chasing Horse. One detective explained in the report: “Because during the sexual incident [the victim] did not say no, push away, yell or run away, I found that I did not believe it could be prosecuted in court.”
The victim in that case explained to detectives investigating Chasing Horse now that she saw him as a father figure and attended ceremonies with him before he began physically abusing and raping her.
At one point, the victim was told by someone in the group that she should be “thankful” she was assaulted by Chasing Horse, according to documents.
Investigators learned that Chasing Horse had been banned from Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana on the grounds of human trafficking, spiritual abuse and intimidation of tribal members, according to documents.
In that case, detectives found that Chasing Horse had been accused of sexually assaulting two other children in 2005 in the area. He told investigators “we will see” if he was willing to take a polygraph test before refusing to speak to law enforcement. No charges were filed against him, documents said.
On Jan. 23, North Las Vegas police were notified of a victim who reported she was a victim of sex trafficking while she lived with Chasing Horse as his wife in Clark County.
The victim also claimed he had been physically abusing her to get her to comply with his demands or when he became upset, noting once that he broke her ribs after punching her under the armpit because he did not like her mood, documents said.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, detectives served a search warrant at Chasing Horse’s North Las Vegas home, where they found multiple electronic devices containing child pornography, several firearms, and an “undetermined amount” of narcotics including marijuana and mushrooms, documents said.
Chasing Horse refused to speak with detectives after his arrest. The Tsuut’Ina Nation Police Service announced that it is working police partners in Alberta and Calgary, as well as investigators in Las Vegas.
“We encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to report it to their local police agency, and want to remind everyone that there is no statute of limitations on the reporting of a sexual assault in Canada,” the Calgary Police Service said in a statement Wednesday.
He was being held in the Clark County Detention Center Wednesday on $20,000 bail. He was expected to make an initial court appearance Thursday at 8 a.m.
Police believe that additional victims of Chasing Horse will come forward due to these initial accusations.
Resources for those experiencing physical or verbal abuse or domestic violence can be found through this link. Resources for survivors of sexual assault or abuse can be found at this link.