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Fugitive Pastor Captured While on Run From Kid Sex Charges

By    |   Monday, 02 March 2015 08:12 AM

Fugitive American pastor Victor Arden Barnard was captured in Brazil on Saturday while on the run from child sex charges.

Barnard, 53, was on the most-wanted list of the U.S. Marshals Service, and is charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly assaulting two underage girls, The New York Times reported.

Barnard, a self-appointed pastor, set up a "shepherd's camp" near Finlayson, Minnesota, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis during the mid-1990s. He convinced several area families to move to the camp over a number of years.

In 2000, Barnard convinced a number of parents to send their daughters into his home to live with him. They sewed, cooked, and cleaned for Barnard, and he called them Alamoths, or maidens.

"Everything that a wife would do, they did for him," said Ruth Johnson, a former member of the church.

Lindsay Tornambe was sent by her parents to live with Barnard when she was just 13.

"He taught that in the Bible, the church was the bride of Christ and because he was Christ in the flesh, the church was supposed to be married to him," Tornambe said, according to CNN. "At that time, I didn't really understand the fullness of what it meant."

Minnesota's complaint against Barnard said that he sexually assaulted Tornambe from the ages of 13 to 22. She eventually moved back in with her parents in 2010, after they had moved to Pennsylvania.

In 2011, she was contacted by another woman who said she was assaulted by Barnard starting when she was 12. They soon went to the police.

By that time, the religious group had fractured due to allegations Barnard had had affairs with married women, as well as investigations by a newly appointed sheriff. Barnard soon moved to Washington state, and eventually fled to Brazil.

Barnard was arrested at a beachside home in a gated community. A 33-year-old woman was detained at the time of the arrest.

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Fugitive American pastor Victor Arden Barnard was captured in Brazil on Saturday while on the run from child sex charges.
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Monday, 02 March 2015 08:12 AM
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