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Minnesota pastor, alleged sexual predator captured in Brazil

Victor Arden Barnard
Victor Arden Barnard

PIPA, BRAZIL – An alleged sexual predator and pastor from Minnesota, accused of dozens of abusive acts against young girls, was recently caught in Brazil.

After only three months on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive list, self-proclaimed pastor and accused sexual predator Victor Arden Barnard was arrested Friday, February 27, in Pipa, Brazil. Barnard, 53, is wanted by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office in Pine City, Minnesota, for 59 felony counts of criminal sexual assault stemming from allegations that he sexually abused young girls while acting as their pastor. The U.S. Marshals joined the manhunt for Barnard in April 2014.

The manhunt for Barnard gained momentum when U.S. Marshals developed significant information leading them to believe he was either in Brazil or receiving assistance from his followers there. After a lengthy and thorough investigation, Barnard was located and arrested by Brazilian law enforcement authorities.

The efforts of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Interpol Washington, and U.S. Marshals Service all contributed to the successful arrest of Barnard.

Barnard is being held in Brazil pending extradition back to the U.S.

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