FORT WORTH, Texas -- The publicity brochures describe him as an American Indian warrior, shaman, artist and storyteller.
However, Marrion Dwayne Three Hawks, also known as Marrion Edwards, may have lured as many as 10 women to his art gallery in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards or to his nearby studio with promises that he could heal them with ancient American Indian ceremonies, according to police.
Instead, he apparently sexually assaulted them in the name of native religion, police say.
He remains under scrutiny by officials trying to determine where he obtained the American Indian artifacts and feathers -- believed to be federally protected eagle feathers -- used in the assaults.
"He almost had a lot of them believing that rape was part of the ceremony," said Tarrant County chief prosecutor Lisa Mullen.
"The people believed in him."
Three Hawks' guilty plea last month to sexually assaulting a Fort Worth woman who had come to him for healing has prompted concern among members of the area's sizable American Indian community.
"Whenever someone pretends to be Indian and goes out and commits some crime, people automatically think we're a bunch of heathens for doing ceremonies like this," said Hilton Queton, a Kiowa and executive director of the American Indian Center, ...
TC substance abuse treatment program in Grand Prairie near Dallas.
True American Indian healers study for years with elders, don't charge for their services and don't perform ceremonies that involve sexual contact, Mr. Queton said.
With his long, dark braids, tawny complexion and skilled storytelling, Three Hawks had little difficulty convincing people he was the Indian shaman he claimed to be, though investigators say they have been unable to find him listed as a member of any tribe.
Three Hawks' gallery specialized in antique Indian goods.
He painted and wrote poetry, gave presentations about American Indians and offered storytelling at his gallery for a $25 fee.
And to a select few, he offered his services as a healer.
In the case in which he pleaded guilty, Three Hawks offered to help a 38-year-old Cherokee with numbness in her arms and hands.
The woman said she went to his studio in January, where she was given herbal tea that made her feel groggy.
He undressed her, placed her on a bed and assaulted her.
During the assault he burned cedar, smeared the ashes across her body and brushed her with a fan made from what appeared to be the wing of an eagle.
Three Hawks pleaded guilty to the assault last month and has begun serving 90 days in the Tarrant County Jail.
He also was sentenced to 10 years of deferred adjudication probation, which means that if he completes 10 years without another incident, all charges will be dismissed.
And he must complete a treatment program for sex offenders.