FIRST ON FOX: At least nine religious leaders were arrested in the U.S. last month for alleged sex crimes against children, ranging from grooming to child porn to rape, Fox News Digital has found.
Former “Dances with Wolves” actor Nathan Chasing Horse was arrested Tuesday in Las Vegas on allegations he sexually assaulted young Indigenous girls spanning several states while claiming to be a spiritual healer.
According to a search warrant obtained by the Associated Press, police said Chasing Horse, who played Smiles a Lot in the 1990 film, had followers who referred to him as “Medicine Man” or “Holy Person,” and he “used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions.”
He is also accused by police of pimping out his victims to other men and recording the assaults.
Daniel Butler, an after-school program director at the Fullness of Joy Ministries Church in Queens, New York, was arrested last month and charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Butler is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl who attends the after-school church program he directs, as well as Butler’s private daycare at his home, New 12 Long Island reported.
Garrett Biggerstaff, a pastor at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Fairfield, Illinois, was arrested Jan. 5 and charged with two counts of grooming after he was accused of sexually exploiting two children.
The church said it suspended Biggerstaff immediately and has scheduled formal action on his termination, KFVS 12 reported.
Joseph Kade Abbott was a volunteer group leader at the Abundant Life Church near Charlotte, North Carolina, before he was arrested on Jan. 9 and transported back to Maryville, Tennessee, on a charge of sexual battery by an authority figure.
A girl’s family is suing Abbott and his previous employers, the First Apostolic Church of Maryville and the Apostolic Christian Academy in Maryville, for $4.5 million in damages on allegations Abbott sexual assaulted the girl several times in 2022 when she was 14, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Brandon Froning, a kindergarten teacher at Parish Episcopal’s Lower School in Dallas, was arrested Jan. 9 on allegations of possessing child pornography.
The school said Froning was suspended and barred from campus pending the investigation, FOX 4 reported.
Todd Philip Napolitano, a 7th-grade teacher at Saint Charles Borromeo Parish School in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, was arrested Jan. 13 on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Napolitano has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Andrew Wilborn, the former president of the Prosper Independent School District board and the former executive pastor at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, was arrested Jan. 25 after he was accused of rubbing his penis against a 16-year-old girl twice at a 2022 event at his church.
An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by WFAA-TV said Wilborn was permitted to continue working at the church despite facing two previous complaints about inappropriate conduct. Police interviewed the chairman of the board overseeing the church, who said he had heard rumors that Wilborn had been “too friendly and touchy,” the affidavit reportedly said.
The church said it has since fired Wilborn, and he reportedly resigned from his board position after police charged him with indecency with a child.
Adam Jeremy Lewis, a middle school teacher at Pelham Park Middle School and former youth director at Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist Church in Alabama, was arrested Jan. 25 and charged with possession of child pornography, AL.com reported.
The church has since fired Lewis, and he is on administrative leave from the school pending the investigation.
Cederick McMillian, a registered sex offender and the pastor at the New Birth Community Church in Alabama, was arrested again last month after Mobile authorities accused him of working at a daycare and preaching in close proximity to two schools in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
McMillian was forced to register as a sex offender after he was convicted in 2012 of sex abuse and sodomy of a 14-year-old victim, WPMI reported. He is also a former funeral home operator and is currently under investigation for alleged corpse abuse and operating an illegal cemetery.
Fox News Digital’s latest analysis follows a Jan. 6 report by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that identified 188 Catholic clergy members in Kansas dating back to 1950 “suspected of committing various criminal acts, to include: aggravated criminal sodomy, rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated sexual battery.”
No charges have been filed yet, “primarily due to statute of limitations concerns,” the KBI said.
Last week, Kansas state Sen. Tom Holland, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would require those in a religious position of power to report child abuse and neglect.
“Our children are taught to trust in certain authority figures in their communities because adults are supposed to speak up for children when they’ve been harmed,” Holland said, WIBW reported. “Far too many of our faith leaders – those who are foundational to the development of our sense of self and spirituality – have violated that trust, and Kansas kids have suffered as a result of their silence.”
A previous analysis by Fox News Digital found that at least 349 public school educators were arrested on child sex-related crimes spanning nearly every state in the country last year, averaging to almost an arrest every day on crimes ranging from grooming to child porn to raping students.
At least 262 of the arrests, or 75%, involved alleged crimes against students, the report found.