Dances with Wolves actor Nathan Chasing Horse arrested after claims he abused indigenous girls for two decades

Nathan Chasing Horse in ‘Dances with Wolves' (Tig Productions)
Nathan Chasing Horse in ‘Dances with Wolves' (Tig Productions)

Dances with Wolves star Nathan Chasing Horse has been arrested after police raided the home of the former actor turned alleged cult leader, who is accused of sexually assaulting young indigenous girls during a period spanning two decades.

The Native American actor was taken into custody by Las Vegas police on Tuesday (31 January) near the home he shares with his five wives. SWAT officers were seen outside the two-story home in the evening as detectives searched the property.

Known for his role in the 1990 Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film Dances with Wolves, Chasing Horse gained notoriety among tribes across the United States and in Canada as a so-called medicine man who performed healing ceremonies and spiritual gatherings and, police allege, used his position to abuse young Native American girls.

His arrest is the culmination of a months-long investigation that began after police received a tip in October 2022. According to a 50-page search warrant obtained by Associated Press, Chasing Horse is believed to be the leader of a cult known as The Circle.

According to the warrant, Las Vegas police have identified at least six alleged victims and uncovered sexual allegations against Chasing Horse dating to the early 2000s in multiple states, including Montana, South Dakota and Nevada, where he has lived for about a decade.

There was no lawyer listed in court records for Chasing Horse who could comment on his behalf as of Tuesday evening.

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.

In 2018, according to the warrant, he was banished from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, amid allegations of human trafficking.

“Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions,” it reads, adding that his followers believed he could communicate with higher beings and referred to him as “Medicine Man” or “Holy Person”.

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.

Chasing Horse arrest (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Chasing Horse arrest (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Some of the alleged victims were as young as 13, it said. Police also said one of Chasing Horse's wives was offered to him as a “gift” when she was 15, while another became a wife after turning 16.

Chasing Horse also is accused of recording the sexual assaults and arranging sex with the victims for other men who allegedly paid him.