Self-professed minister on Most Wanted list

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — The U.S. Marshals Service has added a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing young girls in rural Minnesota to its 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Fifty-three-year-old Victor Barnard is charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two members of a “Maidens Group” within a church he led called the River Road Fellowship.

The U.S. Marshals joined the search for Barnard after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

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In 2000, Barnard set up what he called the “Shepherd’s Camp” on land where girls and young women lived as part of his “Maidens Group.”

After some adult members began questioning his activities, Barnard moved his family and the church to Washington state.

Authorities believe Barnard may have left the country, since he has strong ties to Spain.