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Minister Accused Of Abuse Reported In Spokane-Area

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Washington State Patrol says investigators have acted on 20 or 30 tips this week as they check locations in the Spokane-area in their search for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in rural Minnesota.

Lt. Shane Nelson tells The Spokesman-Review they’re also contacting known associates of Victor Arden Barnard.

The investigation began in Minnesota but the 52-year-old was last known to be in the Spokane area. He’s facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to two young women who said they were abused for nearly a decade.

In 2000, Barnard set up what he called the “Shepherd’s Camp” on land where girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 24 lived as part of his “Maidens Group.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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