Chasing Horse’s sex abuse trial in Nevada is suspended indefinitely
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The sexual abuse trial of a former Dances With Wolves actor accused in Nevada of molesting Indigenous women and girls for more than a decade is extended indefinitely exposed to time.
Nathan Chasing Horse, who pleaded guilty to his right to a trial within 60 days of being charged, was originally scheduled to appear in court on May 1. In late February, a Las Vegas grand jury indicted him on charges of sexually assaulting a minor, kidnapping, fornication, child abuse and drug trafficking.
Clark County District Judge Carli Kierny said Wednesday during a brief court hearing that she would set a new hearing date if the Nevada Supreme Court upheld her decision to deny Chasing Horse’s motion to dismiss his case. Chasing Horse and his lawyers have argued that two women identified as his victims wanted to have sex with him.
Kierny set a hearing for May 10 to review the status of Chasing Horse’s appeal to the High Court, which was pending on Wednesday.
Kierny said in her decision Friday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for “a reasonable grand juror to conclude that the sexual assault took place.” While Kierny maintained the sexual abuse charge, she dismissed the drug trafficking charge back and said there was no base testimony linking Chasing Horse to the psilocybin mushrooms that investigators found when searching his home.
Born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, Chasing Horse, 46, is best known for his portrayal of Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 film.
But police and prosecutors have said that in the decades since his appearance in the Oscar-winning film, Chasing Horse has marketed himself to tribes across the country as a medicine man with healing powers who could communicate with higher beings. They accuse him of using his position to run a cult, gain access to vulnerable girls and women, and taking underage wives from the early 2000s.
Chasing Horse’s charges in state court rest on claims by two women — including one who says she was 14 when the sexual abuse began — but court records show authorities have identified at least four other victims across the United States and have identified in Canada.
Chasing Horse is being held in a Las Vegas county jail on $300,000 bail. If he posts bail, he’ll likely be turned over to federal authorities in Nevada.
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