Former Minnesota Pastor Arraigned on Sex Abuse Charges
PINE CITY, Minn. (AP) — A judge has set bail at $1.5 million for a religious sect leader who's charged with sexually abusing girls at a secluded compound in rural Minnesota.
Victor Barnard made his first state court appearance Monday since his extradition from Brazil last week. U.S. marshals delivered him to the Pine County Jail on Saturday.
Pine County prosecutors charged Barnard in 2014 with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sexual relationships with two girls he had inducted into his "Maidens Group" at the River Road Fellowship's compound near Finlayson, north of Minneapolis.
Prosecutors had argued for bail as high as $7 million, but the judge set it at $1.5 million with conditions including no contact with victims, surrendering Barnard's passport and GPS monitoring, or $3 million with no conditions.