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Accused cult leader Chasing Horse indicted on sex assault charges

An alleged cult leader and former actor accused of sexually assaulting Native American women and girls was indicted Wednesday on 19 felony charges.

Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, made a brief court appearance in North Las Vegas Justice Court on Wednesday morning, and Chief Deputy Public Defender Kristy Holston said prosecutors filed court documents indicating they intended to indict Chasing Horse.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Chasing Horse later Wednesday morning on 10 counts of sexual assault of a minor under 16, six counts of sexual assault, and one count each of open and gross lewdness, first-degree kidnapping of a minor and trafficking a controlled substance.

District Judge Jerry Wiese said Chasing Horse would continue to be held in custody with a $300,000 bail.

The indictment identifies two alleged victims of Chasing Horse through their initials and accuses him of sexual assault dating back to 2012.

In multiple of the sexual assault charges, prosecutors allege that Chasing Horse either raped one of the victims or assaulted her “by counseling, encouraging, inducing, or otherwise procuring” an unknown person or persons to assault the victim while she was blindfolded in a hotel room, according to the indictment.

The drug trafficking charge accuses Chasing Horse of possessing 236 grams of the hallucinogenic psilocin.

Chasing Horse has been accused of committing crimes cross the United States and Canada while operating a cult known as The Circle. Chasing Horse is also known for playing Smiles A Lot in the 1990 Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves.”

He was arrested last month after police raided his North Las Vegas home, where Chasing Horse has lived with up to six women he viewed as wives, according to an arrest report.

Multiple women, some who first met Chasing Horse when they were young girls, told police he raped them starting when they were teenagers.

Prosecutors have accused Chasing Horse of misusing his spiritual influence to take advantage of his followers, who numbered up to 350 at the height of the group.

Chief Deputy District Attorney William Rowles has said that Chasing Horse is a flight risk because of the influence he commands from his followers and that he has continued to groom young girls to one day replace the women he viewed as wives.

Since his arrest in North Las Vegas, authorities in multiple jurisdictions have charged him with additional crimes.

He has been charged in U.S. federal court, and warrants charging him with sexual assault have been issued by the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and by Canadian authorities.

He initially faced charges in Clark County that included sex trafficking, possession of visual pornography of a child, and unlawful acts pertaining to a bald or golden eagle.

The federal charges he now faces include sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography.

Chasing Horse remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center, jail records show.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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