MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Pine County man accused of abusing underage girls who were in his religious cult has struck a plea deal with prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Barnard led the River Road Fellowship, a private Christian community, for years in Pine County.
Authorities accused Barnard of running a cult in which he created a separate “Maidens Group” camp, living separately with girls and women aged 12 to 24.
The plea deal states that 57 of the 59 charges will be dropped against Barnard, and he will serve a total sentence of 30 years in prison.
Barnard will be sentenced on Oct. 28.