MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A fugitive from Minnesota is now awaiting extradition back to the United States.
The news website Globo posted pictures (seen in video) after police in Brazil arrested 53-year-old Victor Barnard Saturday in an apartment near a white-sand beach in northeastern Brazil, along with a 33-year-old woman.
Jeff Sjolander of Duluth, who welcomed Barnard’s arrest, recognized the woman’s name and told The Associated Press that she had been one of the “maidens” in Finlayson, so he wasn’t surprised that she was with Barnard in Brazil.
The criminal complaint against Barnard says one “maiden,” who’s not a subject of the charges, was a Brazilian citizen who got involved with the fellowship after she came to the U.S. to attend school. The complaint said she had to return to Brazil in 2009 when her visa expired. It also said Barnard then sent one of his alleged victims to Brazil to spend a few months with her, and that Barnard joined them there near the end of her stay.
Pine County Sheriff Jeff Nelson said he didn’t have enough details to say whether the woman arrested with Barnard been with the group in Finlayson. The sheriff declined to say much about the case because the investigation is continuing. Marshals Service officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Monday.
Barnard, who spent the last year on the US Marshal Service’s most wanted list, is accused of having sex with young girls in his religious camp near Finlayson, some as young as 12 years old.
Lindsey Endsley, 28, was one of two women who eventually came forward.
“Yeah, I’m definitely angry and sad. I feel he tore our family apart and other families and stole things, my virginity and so many other things,” Endsley said.
Barnard faces 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct. Pine County authorities believe there may be more victims.
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