Police in Alberta say they anticipate more complainants will come forward after a former actor and self-described medicine man was charged with sexual exploitation and sexual assault in the province.
The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service announced Tuesday that warrantshave been issuedfor Nathan Chasing Horse, who appeared in the 1990 movie “Dances With Wolves.”
He faces nine charges, including sexual exploitation, sexual assault and removing a child from Canada under the age of 16.
He has been in jail in Las Vegas since his arrest in January in southern Nevada, where he is charged with 18 felonies, including sexual assault of a minor, child abuse and kidnapping.
“At the end of the day, it is important for us to have the warrants on the system so our victims know they’ve been heard,” Tsuut’ina police Sgt. Nancy Farmer said Wednesday.
She would not say how many complainants have come forward to police at the First Nation west of Calgary, but said there are multiple.
The Nevada prosecution was put on pause as Chasing Horse appealed to the state’s Supreme Court to dismiss the case.
His lawyers have argued that his accusers wanted to have sex with him.
Chasing Horse is also facing charges in Montana and in British Columbia.
U.S. court documents say he was the leader of a cult-like group called “The Circle.” Documents allege he used his position to gain the trust of Indigenous families and their children and take underage wives.
Farmer said posing as a medicine man causes significant damage to Indigenous people and communities.
“That means that he betrayed the trust of people who went to him in the first place,” she said.
Farmer said a complainant came forward to Tsuut’ina police in January and, through their investigation, officers contacted police in Las Vegas, where Chasing Horse was living.
Farmer did not provide information about any of the complaints, saying it was an ongoing investigation.
The U.S. arrest documents detail how the Alberta police service received a complaint from a woman alleging she was sexually assaulted as a 15-year-old and taken to the U.S. as one of Chasing Horse’s multiple wives.
The woman said she met Chasing Horse when he came to her community to perform ceremonies. Documents say he allegedly had sex with the teen multiple times while she was still in Canada.
In 2009, she flew to the U.S. and, not long after when she was 17, he gave her a ring that represented their marriage.
The woman eventually returned to Canada because she could no longer take the physical and emotional abuse, the documents say.
In 2015, the Tsuut’ina band council passed a resolution banning Chasing Horse from all community events.
Farmer said Tsuut’ina police investigated a complaint against Chasing Horse in 2005 but the evidence didn’t meet the threshold for a charge. She said as the recent investigation moved forward, the complaint was revisited and it was decided charges could be brought forward.
Tsuut’ina police also collaborated with forces across Canada and in Las Vegas.
Police do not make extradition requests, and Farmer said it’s unclear whether Chasing Horse will ever be returned to Canada to face the charges.
But, she said, the charges in Canada are important for the complainants.
“It is time for them now to begin the healing process.”