Invisible Children

Lindsay Tornambe and Others by Victor A. Barnard

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

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Lindsay Tornambe’s family moved from Pennsylvania to Minnesota when she was 11 to be closer to the ministry of pastor Victor A. Barnard. Tornambe had already been homeschooled for some time, and she first met Barnard when she was 9. In 2000, when Tornambe was 13, Barnard announced before the congregation that she had been chosen to be “sacrificed to God.” Tornambe’s parents dropped her off at a nearby isolated camp to live with Barnard and his other “maidens.” Barnard regularly sexually assaulted the girls, ages 12 to 24, justifying this by saying that Jesus had had sex with his female followers and Solomon with his concubines. The girls made their own clothing, lived communally, and rarely saw their parents. Those of school age were presumably “homeschooled” by Barnard. Tornambe tried to run away at age 15, but ended up returning because of her fear of “damnation.”

Years later Tornambe left the camp and the religious sect, and at some point the sect moved to Washington state. In early 2014, Tornambe and two other women who had been among Barnard’s “maidens” spoke to authorities about what had happened. Barnard fled arrest and is currently on the run.

Date: July 23, 2000
Location: Finlayson, Minnesota 

Documents: Date:
Charges: Minister raped ‘Maidens’ in Minn. camp for years 04-15-2014

Minnesota minister told girls that ‘God’s word’ made raping them normal