April 16, 2014 in City, Region

WSP asking for tips to capture accused cultist, sex offender

From staff reports
Washington State Patrol courtesy photo

Victor Barnard
(Full-size photo)

The Washington State Patrol is asking for the public’s help locating a Minnesota cultist accused of sexual crimes who is thought to be in the Spokane area.

Victor Arden Barnard, 52, faces 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct with underage girls during his time in charge of the River Road Fellowship in Pine County, Minnesota. Barnard allegedly picked several young girls to be his “maidens” at a camp about 90 miles north of Minneapolis, where he engaged in sexual contact claiming to be “a man of God” and saying that the girls would remain virgins because of that.

Pine County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Barnard on Friday. Investigators believe he fled Minnesota and settled with his congregation somewhere near Spokane. Those with information about Barnard’s whereabouts are asked to contact Washington State Patrol detective Ryan Spangler at (509) 227-6644 or the Pine County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (320) 629-8342.

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