Native American activist denies rape accusations
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Native American activist has disputed accusations that he sexually assaulted unconscious women, saying in a New Mexico court filing that text messages, witness statements and other evidence will support his case against rape and other charges.
Redwolf Pope, 41, said authorities wrongly suggested videos they obtained show him sexually assaulting females who appear to have been drugged.
The videos represent recordings of consensual sex he had with former girlfriends in the past, which he kept in an encrypted file on his computer, according to the court filing submitted Aug. 3.
A warrant in Santa Fe charged Pope, who was arrested last week in Phoenix, with sexually assaulting females who appeared to have been slipped a date-rape drug and surreptitiously recording people at apartments in Santa Fe and Seattle. He had residences in both cities, police said.
Jail records show Pope remains held in Phoenix. His attorney is seeking his release from jail, saying Pope has no prior criminal history and was on his way to Santa Fe to turn himself into authorities when he was arrested.
A fugitive hearing for Pope is scheduled for Aug. 8 in Phoenix.
One of his roommates reported she had found a small video camera in his Seattle apartment’s bathroom. She turned the camera’s memory card over to police after travelling to Santa Fe.
Pope said he set up the recording devices in his apartments because roommates had stolen from him.
Santa Fe police have reviewed about two dozen photographs and four videos in their investigation, authorities said.
Meanwhile, Seattle police interviewed a woman in July who has been identified as one of the victims in the videos. She said she knew Pope, though not as a friend, and had trusted him in the past because of his standing in her tribe.
The woman told police she encountered Pope at a party in Santa Fe in 2017 and woke up confused the next morning in a hotel room after he had given her an alcoholic iced tea beverage the night before.
Pope said the woman was a former girlfriend.
Pope appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News a decade ago to discuss Native American perspectives on Thanksgiving. The show identified his tribal affiliation as Western Shoshone.
He also delivered a TEDx Talk in Seattle last year about oil pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.
Organizers of the Seattle event described him as having served as a liaison to Native American elders, veterans and others during the 2016 demonstrations. They have removed the video of his talk in the past week from their website.
“TEDxSeattle was shocked to learn of the criminal charges filed against RedWolf Pope in July 2018,” said a statement replacing the video. “We find the kind of acts alleged in the charges to be abhorrent.”