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Supreme Court won’t reconsider Chasing Horse appeal

Updated January 22, 2024 - 7:30 pm

The Nevada Supreme Court refused to reconsider dismissing charges against an alleged cult leader accused of preying on the Native American community and sexually assaulting two women.

A panel of justices earlier this week voted 2-1 against Nathan Chasing Horse’s motion to re-examine his request to throw out state charges he faces.

Chasing Horse, who played Smiles a Lot in the 1990’s Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” had petitioned the court to dismiss a grand jury indictment that charged him with six counts of sexual assault, 10 counts of sexual assault against a minor, kidnapping of a minor and lewdness.

In oral arguments in front of the high court panel in November, Chief Deputy Public Defender Kristy Holston argued that prosecutors failed to present exculpatory evidence against Chasing Horse, and that they gave improper instructions to the grand jury.

The panel rejected that motion last month, noting that “we are not satisfied that petitioner has demonstrated that entertaining the writ is warranted.”

Chasing Horse’s legal team appealed for a reconsideration.

After Tuesday’s rejection, dissenting Justice Douglas Herndon wrote: “I believe the court erred in its decision to not entertain the merits” of the argument.

Chasing Horse was arrested following a raid at his North Las Vegas home nearly a year ago.

Authorities alleged that he lived there with up to six women he considered his wives. Two local women told police that they’d met Chasing Horse in Native American ceremonies when they were minors, and that he had raped them when they were teenagers.

Chasing Horse is accused in crimes across North America while leading a cult known as The Circle.

He faces separate federal charges of sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography.

The Fort Peck Indian Reservation and Canadian authorities last year charged him with sexual assault.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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