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Pipeline activist denies rape accusations in court filing

Pipeline activist denies rape accusations in court filing

By Mary Hudetz, AP ALBUQUERQUE, NM —  An activist who has been described as having assisted Native American elders, veterans and others during 2016 pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota has disputed accusations that he raped unconscious women. In a New Mexico court filing, Redwolf Pope, 41, said last week that

By Mary Hudetz, AP

ALBUQUERQUE, NM —  An activist who has been described as having assisted Native American elders, veterans and others during 2016 pipeline protests at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota has disputed accusations that he raped unconscious women.

In a New Mexico court filing, Redwolf Pope, 41, said last week that 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 Friday.

A range of evidence — including text messages, witness accounts and testimony from one of the women in the videos — will support his claims, Pope said.

A warrant last week in Santa Fe accused Pope, who was arrested last week in Phoenix, of 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.

Maricopa County jail records show he 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 in Phoenix.

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 were 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 Standing Rock.

He is charged in a criminal complaint in New Mexico with rape, false imprisonment and other crimes.

 

Cutline: Redwolf Pope faces rape charges and was arrested in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

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