Actor Nathan Lee, also known as Nathan Chasing Horse, has requested a judge throw out the sex abuse case levelled against him.
The actor who first came to public attention in the 1990 Oscar-winning film Dances With Wolves has requested a judge in Nevada to dismiss a criminal sex abuse case against him, with the actor’s defence council arguing the state’s case against him is tainted.
Lee has been indicted on a number of charges including drug trafficking and the sexual abuse of a number of women, one of whom it is claimed was under the age of 16 — the legal age of consent in Nevada — at the time of the alleged incident.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the actor used his position at the head of an alleged cult known as The Circle to gain access to a number of vulnerable women and girls.
Prosecutors alleged at least one of the girls was told they needed to “sacrifice” their virginity to Lee in order to ensure their mother’s health.
Lee however has denied the charges, arguing any sexual interactions he had with the women were consensual, with his legal counsel arguing public prosecutors have overreached with the charges levelled against him.
“It’s not the same as a lack of consent,” Public defender Kristy Holston argued regarding the alleged transactional nature of the sexual encounters. “[A] sex worker, for instance, doesn’t desire sex with the client. But their motive for doing it is for something other than desire.”
The defence has also reportedly argued the charge of drug trafficking is unrelated to the other charges levelled at Lee, and should be dealt with separately.
Clark County District Court Judge Carli Kierny has said she would consider the arguments and would issue a decision before the end of the week. The Associated Press notes that she has the option of denying the request entirely, removing some of the charges, or fully writing off the case.
Lee is due back in court next Monday, with the official trial due to begin May 1 if the case is not thrown out.
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