1 Marzo 2015
Fugitive American sect leader arrested in Brazil over allegations he sexually abused two girls at his Minnesota camp over a period of ten years
- Victor Arden Barnard, 53, was captured late Friday in apartment near Pipa Beach in northeastern Brazil after year-long search
- 33-year-old Brazilian woman, not named, who previously lived in U.S. was also arrested
- Barnard was on most-wanted list of U.S. Marshals Service following charges brought against him in 2014
- During arrest, police confiscated computers, cell phones, flash drives, religious papers and diaries from condo
- He faces 59 counts of criminal misconduct after two women said they were sexually abused after being chosen to live with him at camp in Minnesota
- One woman said Barnard abused her from ages 13 to 22, while other said her abuse occurred between ages 12 and 20
A self-professed minister and one of America’s Most Wanted for allegedly molesting two girls in a ‘Maidens Group’ has been arrested following a year-long search, according to Brazilian authorities.
Victor Arden Barnard, 53, was captured late Friday in an apartment near paradisiacal white-sand Pipa Beach in northeastern Brazil, along with a 33-year-old Brazilian woman, who he was reportedly living with.
Authorities were eventually able to determine that Barnard was living in Brazil and coordinated efforts with Brazilian police to arrest him, according to CBS Minnesota.
He faces 59 counts of criminal misconduct after two women said they were among ten girls and women, who were chosen to live apart from their families and with him at his River Road Fellowship camp in rural Minnesota.
One woman alleged Barnard sexually abused her beginning at age 13 and continued until she was 22, while the other said her abuse occurred between the ages 12 and 20.
A majority of the criminal counts against him carry maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Barnard initially left Minnesota in 2010, before the women came forward, and his whereabouts were unknown for some time. It was believed he and his followers had moved to Washington state.
Brazilian police inspector Paulo Henrique Oliveira said that Barnard entered the South American country legally in 2012, and a nation-wide warrant was issued in April 2014 for his arrest.
He had been living for at least six months at the apartment where he was arrested in Brazil, about 1,300 miles from Rio de Janeiro.
During the arrest, police confiscated computers, cell phones, flash drives, religious papers and diaries from the condo, according to the Star Tribune.
Sexual abuse charges were brought against Barnard in 2014.
In 2000, he created a ‘Shepherd’s Camp’ with a group of ten girls and women he selected to live with him at his home, according to Fox 9.
Barnard allegedly kept the girls isolated and used religious coercion and intimidation to maintain his control over them, calling it cult-like behavior.
He told one victim ‘she would remain a virgin because he was a man of God,’ according to a criminal complaint.
The Maidens Group, with girls aged between 12 and 24, were first-born daughters handed over to Barnard and were ‘forced to have sex with him’ anywhere between once and five times a month over a decade.
He said that Jesus and King Solomon had many women followers, so ‘God’s word’ meant that it was normal for him to have sex with them.
In 2012, after enduring years of abuse following her parents leaving her at the camp when she was 13 years old, former sect member Lindsay Tornambe alerted authorities to the girls’ plight.
When she received the news of his recent arrest, she said she started crying.
Tornambe said: ‘It feels so surreal. I knew the day would come, but it finally came and it’s almost numbing.’
Another former cult member, Jess Schweiss, told authorities her story too after she was taken to the camp at 12 years old.
She said when she told her parents about the abuse, her mother ‘did not want to hear it’, according to the criminal complaint notes.
Cindi Currie, who said she had visited Barnard’s religious camp in Minnesota years ago and tried to persuade a friend to leave the group, spoke out saying that she cannot wait to see Barnard behind bars.
‘He has ruined more lives. That man is the devil incarnate,’ she said. ‘I’m just ready to cry. I’m so glad they found him. Not only will Victor Barnard go to jail, but every adult who knew what was going on up there can start to pay, and maybe these girls can start to heal.’
Investigators believe Barnard abused other girls but have been unable to get others to come forward.
An extradition order has already been signed by the U.S. Supreme Court and Barnard is expected to stand trial in the U.S. for the charges he faces, according to Globo.
FONTE: DAILY MAIL
NOTA: LEGGI ANCHE ARTICOLO “Cult leader accused of sex abuse of minors arrested in Brazil” pubblicato qui http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/02/28/cult-leader-accused-of-sex-abuse-of-minors-arrested-in-brazil
Cayó el líder de una secta que era buscado en Estados Unidos por abuso sexual
Las autoridades brasileñas capturaron a un autoproclamado pastor que figuraba en la lista de los delincuentes más buscados en Estados Unidos, donde se le acusa de abusar sexualmente de dos niñas de un “grupo de vírgenes” en una agrupación religiosa que encabezaba en una zona rural de Minnesota.
La Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del gobierno del estado de Río Grande do Norte informó en un comunicado en su portal de internet del arresto de Victor Arden Barnard, de 53 años.
Por su parte, el Servicio de Alguaciles federal de Estados Unidos confirmó el arresto en un comunicado.
Las autoridades brasileñas indicaron que la policía capturó a Barnard la noche del viernes en un apartamento cerca de las playas paradisiacas de arenas blancas en el noreste de Brasil. El estadounidense estaba detenido en la ciudad de Natal a espera de su extradición para que enfrente los cargos que se le imputan en Estados Unidos.
Barnard, que enfrenta 59 cargos por conducta sexual delictiva, estaba en la lista de los delincuentes más buscados del Servicio de Alguaciles federal de Estados Unidos.
De acuerdo con una denuncia penal presentada en Estados Unidos, dos mujeres dijeron haber estado entre 10 niñas y mujeres jóvenes escogidas para que vivieran separadas de sus familias en un campamento que Barnard tenía instalado cerca de Finlayson, Minnesota, a 144 kilómetros al norte de Minneapolis.
Una mujer afirmó que Barnard abusó sexualmente de ella desde que tenía 13 años y continuó haciéndolo hasta los 22 años. La otra dijo que fue objeto de abuso sexual de los 12 a los 20 años.
Barnard supuestamente mantenía aisladas a las jóvenes en tanto que las autoridades estadounidenses han dicho que se valía de la coacción y la intimidación religiosas para mantener su control sobre ellas, en lo que describieron como una conducta similar a la de un culto.
Supuestamente Barnard dijo a una de las víctimas que ella permanecería virgen porque él era un “hombre de Dios”, según la denuncia penal.
Los investigadores creen que Barnard abusó sexualmente de otras menores pero no han logrado que presenten denuncia. La mayoría de los cargos penales contra Barnard conllevan sentencias máximas de 30 años de prisión.
FONTE: EL UNIVERSAL
NOTA: Leggi articoli precedenti sulla vicenda qui: