With banner headlines, Brazilian media is all over the story of Victor Barnard and his River Road cult. After his arrest on Friday near Pipas beach, Barnard has been held at federal jail in the regional capital of Natal.
Reports are that he is calm and composed and now has a Brazilian lawyer, which could cause trouble for extradition. The Pine County prosecutor is in a holding pattern.
Meanwhile, attention is focused on the woman who has allegedly been helping him hide for years. Cristina Liberato is a Brazilian-born follower who joined the River Road Fellowship 25 years ago when she was in Minnesota on a student visa. One of the 10 "Maidens" who were told to have sex with Barnard, she is reportedly from a wealthy family and has been paying for Barnard's life on the run, moving him from house to house. She has tried to deliver him food in jail, as well as a self-help book of some kind. Given the length of time extradition may take, he could have plenty of time to catch up on his reading.
Brazilian media has also been reporting that at least 20 other followers, most of them women, have left the United States in the last few years to visit Barnard in Brazil.The investigation: Maidens of River Road
The charges: Cult leader charged with molesting "Maidens"
The arrest: Cult leader captured in Brazil