‘Dances With Wolves’ actor Nathan Chasing Horse arrested on sex abuse claims
Chasing Horse is accused of multiple sexual crimes, including sex trafficking, child abuse and sex assault of a child under 16
By Elizabeth Pritchett
Former “Dances With Wolves” actor Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who goes by Nathan Chasing Horse, was arrested Tuesday after Las Vegas police raided his home in connection with accusations of sexual abuse spanning over two decades, The Associated Press reported.
Chasing Horse, who is now allegedly the leader of a cult known as The Circle, is accused of sexually assaulting young Indigenous girls, according to police records obtained by the AP.
The actor, known for his role as the young Sioux tribe member Smiles A Lot in Kevin Costner’s award-winning film, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon near his North Las Vegas home that he reportedly shares with his five wives. His arrest came after months of investigating prompted by a tip to police in October.
SWAT officers were seen outside the two-story house as detectives searched the property later in the evening.
Nathan Chasing Horse of Rosebud, South Dakota, and a member of the Sioux Tribe, leads the Color guard at the beginning of the grand entry into the coliseum at the 37th annual Denver March Pow Wow. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
According to the AP, Las Vegas police identified at least six alleged victims.
In addition, the department uncovered sexual allegations against the actor dating back to the early 2000s in multiple states, including Montana, South Dakota, and Nevada, where he has lived for almost 10 years.
Chasing Horse is also accused of recording sexual assaults and arranging sex with the victims for men who allegedly paid him. He gained a reputation among tribes across America and Canada as a “medicine man” who performed healing ceremonies and spiritual gatherings.
He allegedly used his position to abuse Native American girls.
“Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions,” the warrant reads, adding that his followers believed he could communicate with higher beings and referred to him as “Medicine Man” or “Holy Person.”
Las Vegas police work near the home of former actor Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who goes by Nathan Chasing Horse, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Although the warrant includes details of crimes reported elsewhere, the arrest stems from crimes allegedly committed in Nevada’s Clark County. They include sex trafficking, sexual assault of a child younger than 16 and child abuse.
Some of the alleged victims were as young as 13, according to the warrant. One of Chasing Horse’s wives was allegedly offered to him as a “gift” when she was 15, while another became a wife after turning 16.
A Las Vegas police officer stands near the home of former actor Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse on Jan. 31, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. (Photo/John Locher)
He was also banished from the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana in 2015 after allegations of human trafficking surfaced, the AP reported.
The case against the actor comes at a time when state attorneys general and lawmakers across the country are looking to create specialized units to handle cases involving Native women and girls.
In South Dakota, the AG’s office announced a new focus on crimes against Native American people, including human trafficking and murders.
17-year-old Lakota actor Nathan Chasing His Horse, who starred as Smiles A Lot in ‘Dances With Wolves.’ (Getty Images)
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.
There was no lawyer listed in court records who could comment on his behalf as of Tuesday evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.