NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Bail was set at $300,000 Wednesday for a former “Dances with Wolves” actor accused in Nevada of sexual abuse and trafficking of Indigenous women and girls.
North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Craig Newman said Nathan Chasing Horse must stay with a relative if he is released from jail. The 46-year-old, who played young Sioux tribesman Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Academy Award-winning film, was allegedly electronically monitored and had no access to drugs, alcohol or firearms, Newman said. He is prohibited from contacting any alleged victims or minors.
Under Nevada law, Chasing Horse would have had to pay 15% of his bail amount – $45,000 – to secure his release. His cheering supporters refused to speak to reporters as they left the courthouse after the brief hearing. The Chasing Horse public defender did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday morning.
A prosecutor had asked for $2 million bail, describing Chasing Horse as a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Authorities say Chasing Horse has spent decades building a reputation among tribes across the United States and Canada as a “medicine man.” Authorities accuse him of abusing that position to physically and sexually assault women and girls and take underage wives.
He was banned from the Fort Peck Reservation in Poplar, Montana, in 2015 following similar allegations, and authorities in British Columbia, Canada, charged Chasing Horse this week with an alleged 2018 sexual assault.
In Nevada, Chasing Horse was charged with eight felonies, including sex trafficking, sexual assault and child abuse. He has not filed a statement and his lawyers have not commented on the allegations.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney William Rowles pointed to Chasing Horse supporters in the courtroom Wednesday and said the former actor has an “extensive” network of contacts in Las Vegas, Canada and Mexico.
Rowles said police found evidence at Chasing Horse’s home last week that she was “in the process of grooming young children to replace others as they grow up to become their wives.”
Relatives and supporters of Chasing Horse filled the courtroom Wednesday, as they have at previous hearings since his January 31 arrest near the North Las Vegas home he shares with five women he identifies as his wives.
In a 50-page search warrant and 53-page arrest report, Las Vegas police described Chasing Horse as the leader of a cult known as The Circle, whose followers believe he communicates with higher powers.
Police said they had identified at least six victims, including one who was 13 when she said she was abused, and another who said she was given Chasing Horse as a “gift” when she was 15.
Police SWAT officers arrested Chasing Horse last week and detectives said a search of the family home found handguns, 41 pounds (18.5 kilograms) of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and cell phone videos showing sexual assaults of minors, according to his arrest report.
Chasing Horse also uses the name Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse. He was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Sicangu Sioux, one of the seven tribes of the Lakota nation.