A cult leader accused of sex crimes is back in MN to face charges


An accused cult leader is back in Minnesota after spending more than a year in a Brazilian prison.

Victor Barnard, 54, was booked into Pine County Jail Saturday afternoon. He faces up to 59 charges of criminal sexual conduct.

Barnard's attorney said the the 54-year-old requested to be sent back to the the U.S., the Star Tribune reports.

And Pine County officials announced in March that he'd be extradited to Minnesota to face charges.

County leaders say Barnard ruled over a camp of young girls he called “maidens” at The River Road Fellowship near Finlayson, Minnesota. He's accused of abusing the girls starting in 2000, when they were just 12 and 13 years old.

Then in April 2014, a nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest. It wasn't long before he was placed on the U.S. Marshals Service list of 15 Most Wanted fugitives.

Officials thought he fled Minnesota for Washington state after some followers questioned his conduct with young women, but that’s where the trail grew cold.

Barnard was eventually arrested in Brazil in February of last year. He'd been behind bars there ever since.

The Pine County Attorney tells KSTP he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.