The Associated Press
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington State Patrol detectives say they’ve gotten what they think is a credible tip that a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota has been seen in Raymond, near the Washington coast.
Patrol Lt. Shane Nelson said 52-year-old Victor Barnard reportedly was seen Wednesday leaving a fast-food restaurant in Raymond, heading toward nearby Aberdeen. Nelson says the man was driving a dark blue Audi and was accompanied by a woman.
The patrol says additional information places Barnard in the area in the previous week.
In April, the State Patrol checked out tips that Barnard was in the Spokane area.
The patrol says he’s charged in Pine County, Minnesota, with 59 counts of sexual molestation of children. Two young women say 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.”
CORRECTION, 9:20 a.m.: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect name in the photo caption. The suspect is Victor Barnard.