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Religious Boarding School Owners Charged for 100+ Counts of Abuse

A couple who owned and ran a Christian boarding school for girls are facing 102 charges for allegations that they regularly subjected several of their students to severe physical, mental and sexual abuse.

71-year-old Boyd Householder and his 55-year-old wife Stephanie live in Humansville, Missouri, where they opened the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in 2006.

According to their mission statement, their aim was “to help young ladies who were destroying their lives through poor choices and behaviors, change their future.” They specifically provide service to “uncontrollable girls who won’t let their parents help them.” They report that their method is to use the Bible “to teach them that they are to obey their Parents [SIC] and the authority over them.”

The Householders reported that since the beginning of their opening of the boarding school, the girls housed there would place calls to social services making false accusations about the way they were being treated. The Householders said the students would place the calls in retaliation to being there and about the enforcement of the rules.

The couple stated that they have always been cooperative and welcomed the social workers into the home at any time. They do not believe anything was ever found to substantiate the claims the girls made.

In 2018, one of the girls reported to the authorities that she had been sexually abused by Boyd during her time at the ranch.

Several students also recently recorded videos and displayed them online, claiming that they had been abused in horrific ways. Corporal punishments including being restrained from movement for days, instructing them on the most successful method of committing suicide when slitting their wrists, and sexual penetration were only a few of the reported accusations the young women made against the couple.

By August 2020, all of the girls residing at the school were removed from the premises.

After investigating the situation, the authorities reported that they have uncovered 16 alleged victims, and they expect they will locate more.

On March 9, Boyd and Stephanie were taken into custody and booked into the Vernon County Jail.

Boyd is expected to face charges for suspicion of 79 felony charges and one misdemeanor, including 6 counts of 2nd-degree statutory rape, 7 counts of 2nd-degree statutory sodomy, 6 counts of sexual contact with a student, one count of 2nd-degree child molestation, 56 counts of abuse or neglect of a child, and 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Stephanie is being charged with 12 counts of abuse or neglect of a child, and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The couple believes that the young ladies who failed to lead successful lives after leaving the boarding school have decided to blame their time at the establishment for their current situations.

They disclosed that they also have good reason to believe their daughter encouraged the situation due to their estranged relationship.

The Householders vehemently assert that they are innocent, and reported that they can provide explanations for all of the claims the girls have made against them, including that the victim of sexual assault had consented to the act.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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