LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge postponed on Monday the trial for a former “Dances With Wolves” actor indicted in state court on charges that he sexually abused Indigenous women and girls for a decade in the Las Vegas area.
Clark County District Judge Carli Kierny said the trial in the case of Nathan Chasing Horse will begin May 1 in Las Vegas to give prosecutors and Chasing Horse’s public defenders more time to iron out pending motions in the case. His trial had previously been scheduled for April 17.
A Clark County grand jury indicted Chasing Horse, 46, in late February on 19 counts that include charges of sexual assault of a child younger than 16, kidnapping, lewdness and child abuse. Chasing Horse, who is widely known for his portrayal of Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s 1990 Oscar-winning film, has pleaded not guilty and invoked his right to a trial within 60 days of his indictment.
The former actor, who has been in custody since his Jan. 31 arrest, is due back in court Wednesday morning for a hearing on a motion asking Kierny to dismiss the sweeping indictment. Chasing Horse and his lawyers argued in their motion that two women identified as victims in Nevada wanted to have sex with him.
Prosecutors and police have said the abuse allegations against Chasing Horse date to the early 2000s and span two countries and multiple states. He also faces criminal charges in U.S. District Court in Nevada and British Columbia, Canada, as well as on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana.
Chasing Horse is accused of using his position as a self-proclaimed medicine man to gain access to vulnerable Indigenous women and girls and take underage wives. Authorities have described him as the leader of a cult known as “The Circle,” whose members believe he has healing abilities and can communicate to higher beings.