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Minister accused of abuse reported in Spokane-area

  • Associated Press
  • April 18, 2014 - 7:45 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. — 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 (http://bit.ly/1pg3Q7b) 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."

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