Posted on: December 15, 2023, 09:20h.
Last updated on: December 15, 2023, 10:09h.
Former cult leader Nathan Chasing Horse failed to get his charges dropped by Nevada’s top court, according to a ruling released this week.
Attorneys attempted to have the state Supreme Court throw out pending counts for alleged improper sexual relationships and related crimes.
Two of three justices revealed they didn’t believe they had jurisdiction in the case. They chose not to rule on the merits.
We are not satisfied that [the] petitioner has demonstrated that entertaining the writ is warranted,” Justices Patricia Lee and Ron D. Parraguirre said in a two-page ruling.
However, Justice Douglas Herndon dissented and wanted the case’s merits considered.
Lawyers for Chasing Horse had argued the case against their client should have been dismissed. They claimed the Eighth Judicial District Court made errors.
The legal team claimed the sex was consensual, evidence was improperly gathered, and members of the grand jury weren’t given proper instructions before they returned the indictment.
The case will now go back to a lower court in Nevada for a criminal trial. He remains in the Clark County Detention Center as of Friday. Bail was set at $300K.
Facing 18 Counts
In total, Chasing Horse, 47, is facing 18 Nevada felonies. He was indicted on six counts of sexual assault, 10 counts of sexual assault against a minor, kidnapping of a minor, and lewdness. The allegations stem from incidents that took place between 2014 and 2020.
There are also charges or pending charges against him in Nevada federal court, as well as from courts in Montana and Canada. They relate to the alleged exploitation of female victims, underage sex, pornography, and other counts.
The victims were Indigenous women and teens, according to authorities.
One of Chasing Horse’s victims claims Chasing Horse promised he would heal her mother, who was suffering from cancer. He allegedly began assaulting her when she was 14.
Chasing Horse was viewed by many in the cult known as The Circle as a tribal healer.
On January 31, authorities raided the North Las Vegas, Nev. residence where Chasing Horse lived with several wives, police said. He was apprehended and booked.
Chasing Horse portrayed a character, Smiles a Lot, in the 1990 Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves.”
An online petition seeks to send him to prison and demands that authorities never grant him bail. As of Friday, 1,602 people put their names on the Change.org petition.
“Nathan Chasing Horse, Lakota Cult Leader, has abused and manipulated his way to where he is. He deserves to be imprisoned for the crimes he’s committed due to the violent nature of his intentions and ongoing threat to the community,” the petition stated.