By Rio Yamat
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAS VEGAS (AP)- Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former “Dances With Wolves” actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
Nathan Chasing Horse, who also goes by Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, was taken into custody Jan. 31 near the North Las Vegas home he shares with his five wives. He has been charged with eight felonies in Nevada, including sexual assault, sex trafficking and child abuse.
Authorities have said the crimes date to the early 2000s and span multiple states, including South Dakota, Montana and Nevada, where Chasing Horse has lived for a decade.
Prior to his arrest, the 46-year-old had been the focus of a months long probe by Las Vegas police prompted by a tip last October from Canadian law enforcement, who had identified Chasing Horse as a suspect in a 2018 rape in the British Columbia village of Keremeos, near the Washington state border.
Sgt. Kris Clark of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press that Chasing Horse has been charged with one count of sexual assault in connection with the 2018 crime. He said an arrest warrant for Chasing Horse in Canada was issued two days after his arrest in Nevada, but declined to release further details.
California attorney Alexandra Kazarian, who has been retained by Chasing Horse to replace his public defender, did not immediately respond Tuesday to email and phone requests for comment regarding the new case in Canada.
Chasing Horse’s previous public defender, Michael Wilfong, has not commented on any of the allegations.
As the number of criminal cases against Chasing Horse grows, his estranged daughter spoke Tuesday in support of the victims.
In a statement, Quannah Chasinghorse, a model who has appeared on the covers of Vogue Mexico and Vogue Japan, distanced herself from her father, saying she’s had minimal contact with him and was raised by her mother and stepfather, who died in 2017.
“I stand with the victims of Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse,” she said. “I honor the immense courage it takes for survivors to tell their stories, especially publicly.”
Chasing Horse played the role of Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Oscar-winning film.
Since then, he has built a reputation among tribes across the United States and in Canada as as a self-proclaimed “medicine man.”
Las Vegas police said Chasing Horse abused that position, describing him in their search warrant as the leader of a cult known as The Circle who took underage wives over two decades.
He also was banished from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, in 2015 following similar allegations.
Chasing Horse remains held without bail at a jail in downtown Las Vegas. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, when a judge is expected to address his custody status after hearing testimony from investigators, victims and Chasing Horse’s relatives.