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Authorities charge minister with abusing 2 girls

KFGO file graphic
KFGO file graphic

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A minister has been charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two members of a Maidens Group'' within a Minnesota-based church he led called the River Road Fellowship.

Pine County authorities announced Tuesday an arrest warrant has been issued for 52-year-old Victor Arden Barnard. The sheriff's office says he was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area.

According to the criminal complaint, the two victims were among several girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a camp Barnard set up near the town of Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis in east-central Minnesota. One victim alleges Barnard sexually abused her from the ages of 13 to 22. The other alleges he abused her for several years starting when she was 12.

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