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‘Medicine Man’ accused of raping 6 women he called his wives

Updated February 2, 2023 - 9:40 am

A former movie actor and self-proclaimed “medicine man” was arrested Tuesday night in North Las Vegas after he was accused of raping, grooming and trafficking his six wives when they were as young as 9.

Nathan Chasing Horse, who played Smiles a Lot in the Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” was accused by multiple women and girls of operating a cult called The Circle and misusing his “spiritual influence,” according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report released Wednesday.

“Nathan Chasing Horse, by portraying himself as a “Holy Man” or a “Medicine Man,” has gained the trust of indigenous families and their children by using Native tradition, spiritual ceremony, and a historical belief system,” Metro detectives wrote in the warrant.

The Metropolitan Police Department’s major violators section arrested Chasing Horse, 46, after a three-month investigation.

On Wednesday afternoon, five neighbors on Shockwave Court, a quiet North Las Vegas street near North Bruce Street and East Washburn Road, said they had never seen Chasing Horse. The police vehicles that crowded their neighborhood Tuesday evening marked the first time their attention was drawn to the house with a heart decoration on the door.

Metro detectives spoke to three women who alleged they were raped by Chasing Horse, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Lakota Tribe.

‘I tried saying no’

The first victim met Chasing Horse in 2003, when she was 6 years old and he healed her of a spider bite, according to the report. Eight years later, her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and the girl sought Chasing Horse’s help to heal the woman.

Chasing Horse allegedly told the then-14-year-old she had to give up her body to save her mother, the victim, now a woman, told police.

“He told me my body was no longer mine … I tried saying no,” detectives wrote in the arrest report, quoting the woman. “He said, I needed to say yes, or my mom was going to die.”

The woman said Chasing Horse raped her at least 20 times after that, occasionally using the encounters to produce child pornography. She moved in as one of his wives in 2014, just after her 16th birthday, and stayed with him until December 2021.

Chasing Horse did not register marriage certificates with his wives, but he forced them to change their names and get matching spider tattoos, detectives wrote. He told them all to take suicide pills if he was ever arrested or killed, and he taught them what to do if law enforcement appeared, the arrest report said.

“Nathan Chasing Horse trained his wives how to manipulate and shoot firearms, in the event law enforcement were to attempt to take them into custody they can ‘shoot it out,’” police wrote in the report.

A second woman told police she met Chasing Horse in 2003 as a young child, but he came back into her life in 2014, when she was 19. She told police Chasing Horse raped her and got her pregnant, but when she went to talk to him about what happened, he raped her a second time.

A third woman reported in January that her mother was in The Circle in 2006, when she was 14. She estimated Chasing Horse raped her about 20 times, and gave her a diamond ring to make her a wife in 2009.

At least two of the victims are believed to have been sex trafficked, with Chasing Horse arranging for other men to assault his wives, the report said. All three had single mothers who were close with or who sought the healing powers Chasing Horse claimed to have.

Prior reports

The arrest report also detailed a Federal Bureau of Investigation report that looked into the sexual assault of two teenage girls in 2003 on Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. The girls, 14 and 13, named Chasing Horse as the perpetrator, but he denied the accusations and the charges were dropped.

The FBI told Metro that Chasing Horse was banished from the reservation after he was accused of human trafficking, spiritual abuse and intimidation of tribal members.

Another victim reported in 2014 that she was sexually assaulted by Chasing Horse, but the case was dropped because they could not find the man.

A report from police in British Columbia said a girl made a 2018 report to authorities there that she was raped after she got sick and was sent to live with him in California in 2010 and that she later moved with the family to North Las Vegas. She left in 2015 after seeing him beat wives, she told detectives.

While searching the home Tuesday, police found a Samsung phone with six minutes of pornographic videos of a child, several unknown narcotic substances, a shotgun and three 9mm handguns. A partially stuffed bald eagle was found in the laundry room, along with several parts of bald eagles stuffed into a lunchbox, the report said.

Others still living in the home said they became Chasing Horse’s wives as teenagers, including one who joined his sexual rotations, called “the schedule” at age 12, the report said.

Chasing Horse is being held without bail on two counts of sex trafficking of an adult, and one count each of sex assault against a child, sex assault and child abuse. He is expected to appear in court Thursday morning.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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