ABERDEEN, Wash. — A cult leader accused of raping teenage girls has reportedly been spotted western Washington.
52-year-old Victor Barnard has been the target of a nationwide manhunt.
In April, authorities said Barnard may have traveled to Washington from Minnesota, where he’s charged with 59 felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct with two girls, ages 12 and 13. At that time, police said his last known whereabouts were Spokane.
Now, the Washington State Patrol says they have a credible tip that Barnard has been spotted in the Aberdeen and Raymond areas in Grays Harbor County. They are asking for the public’s help in finding him.
Troopers said Barnard was seen leaving a McDonald’s Restaurant on SR 101 in Raymond driving a dark blue Audi 2-door with tinted windows and a spoiler. They said Barnard was heading toward Aberdeen with a young woman at the time.
Barnard ministered a religious group in Northern Pine County, Minnesota.
According to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Barnard was the leader of a cult that lead to girls as young as 10 to fall under his watch as “maidens.”
At least two women have come forward with allegations against Bernard, saying their time with him was a “nightmare” of sexual abuses, the Star-Tribune reported.
Troopers call Barnard a sex predator and are desperate to find him. He does have members of his religious sect who have been trying to hide him.
“He’s been involved in the molestation of children and I don’t have a good assessment as to his level of personal danger but he’s certainly not someone you want to approach. Definitely call 911,” Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said.
If you have any information, call 9-1-1 or the Washington State Patrol immediately.