Activist in Santa Fe rape case also suspected in Seattle

Redwolf Pope

Redwolf Pope, a Native American activist charged with raping a woman in Santa Fe last year, also faces rape accusations in Seattle, a police statement shows.

Pope, 41, who court documents say has homes in both Seattle and Santa Fe, was charged in Santa Fe in late July with criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact, aggravated battery and false imprisonment after a Seattle-area woman told investigators Pope had raped her when she was visiting Santa Fe last year.

The charges followed a collaborative investigation by police in both cities that began when roommates of Pope told Santa Fe police they found videos that appear to show Pope raping unconscious women.

A newly released statement by a Seattle detective says investigators determined there are at least three women in the videos, “each of whom clearly appear to be unconscious and unresponsive.”

A day after a Santa Fe judge signed an arrest warrant for Pope, officers arrested him last month in Phoenix, where he has remained in jail awaiting transfer back to Santa Fe.

Santa Fe County Magistrate David Segura rejected a motion by Pope’s lawyer, Stephen Aarons, to quash the arrest warrant, and Segura ordered the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to bring Pope to Santa Fe to face charges.

A probable cause statement signed Thursday by the Seattle police detective said investigators there believe Pope raped two women in that city as well.

The document says that after Pope’s arrest in Phoenix, Seattle police were able to identify a woman they think was raped by Pope in a video recorded in his Seattle apartment.

That woman told police by phone it was possible she could have been a victim, the document says, because she recalled an evening in 2017 when she ended up in Pope’s bed and didn’t know how she got there.

At Seattle police headquarters, officers asked the woman to look at a screenshot of the head and neck area of a woman in one of the videos, the document says, and the woman recognized it as an image of herself.

After viewing the video, the woman “immediately started to wail and cry. She curled up into a ball on her chair, pulling her legs toward her body, wrapping her arms around her legs, all as she pushed back away from the table and the picture,” the document says.

The woman told police that Pope had picked her up on the night in question and had given her a drink. She could not remember what happened afterward, she told police, but she woke up in Pope’s bed the next day with no recollection of how she got there.

“She was convinced, due to their strong friendship, nothing had happened other than an awkward exchange,” the police document says.

The probable cause document says police have not identified the third woman in the videos. However, the room in the video appears to be in Pope’s Seattle apartment, the document says, and shows a woman being sexually assaulted on Nov. 30, 2016.

Based on the evidence, the document says, Seattle police have cause to believe Pope committed second-degree rape twice in that city.

Aarons, Pope’s Santa Fe attorney, said late Friday he didn’t have any knowledge of any rape accusations in Seattle.

“It’s not something that I knew about,” Aarons said in a phone interview. “I know about the case here. … There was a consensual relationship here. I don’t know anything about these other cases.”

In his motion to quash Pope’s arrest warrant, Aarons had argued that the woman who alleged she was raped by Pope in Santa Fe was a former girlfriend who does not remember having consensual sex with his client because she was intoxicated.

That contradicts what the woman told police.

According to a police affidavit seeking the warrant for Pope’s arrest, the woman said he was an acquaintance who was respected by elders in her Pacific Northwest tribe. He picked her up from a party in Santa Fe when she was visiting, she said, and gave her an alcoholic beverage. She was unable to remember the rest of the evening, she told police, and the following morning she woke up in a hotel room with Pope and was frightened when he insinuated that something romantic had occurred between them.

She told police that she “in no way, had those kinds of feelings toward Mr. Pope,” the detective wrote.

Prosecutors plan to ask a judge to keep Pope jailed in New Mexico while he awaits trial here, according to court documents filed earlier this week.


Sami Edge covers public-safety issues for Santa Fe New Mexican and follows developments in this year's fire season.

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