Navajo Filmmaker Arrested on Sexual Assault Charge

Mar 23, 2018

An award-winning Navajo filmmaker was arrested earlier this month on sexual assault charges. KNAU’s Justin Regan reports, Kody Dayish’s arrest came in the midst of filming a movie about World War II code talkers. 


Dayish was arrested at the Durango Independent Film Festival, in Colorado, where one of his short features was screening. According to the Durango Herald he was charged with one count of sexual assault. His alleged victim worked as a model for his production company. Dayish has been a rising star in the independent film world. He has won several awards for his work focusing on Diné culture including issues like suicide, terminal illness and domestic abuse. Shortly before his arrest, KNAU interviewed Dayish about his code talker project.

"Right off the bat it’s going to be different because it’s going to be coming from a Navajo’s perspective," he said. "The actual lead character will be a Navajo actor. We went to the depths of the reservation to find actual Navajo people that can speak the language."  

Dayish has been released on bond and made an initial court appearance. Dayish has a previous domestic violence/battery charge in 2013. He has not responded to KNAU’s request for comment. His production company’s Facebook page is currently not operational.