Montana Public Radio

child abuse

Montana Legislature Senate chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Montana lawmakers heard a bill on Wednesday that would ban anonymous reporting of child abuse allegations. House Bill 356 would prohibit investigations into child abuse allegations if they are reported by anonymous sources, and would require people reporting abuse to give their name and address.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

State health officials Wednesday released a ruling from an administrative law judge that permanently revoked the license of Ranch for Kids. Ranch for Kids was a private therapeutic facility for children in northwest Montana. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton is here to walk us through this development.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

It’s been nearly two months since Montana health officials removed 27 children from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford due to allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Ranch for Kids’ license is still suspended, and according to the ranch’s director, a hearing to appeal that decision has not been held.

Montana State Sen. Diane Sands (D) - Missoula
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Montana Health officials Friday released new rules for private therapeutic homes that previously fell under the authority of a mostly self-regulated board. This comes a month after the state health department removed two-dozen children from one of those facilities due to allegations of abuse.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The state is still caring for an unknown number of children removed from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford last month due to allegations of chronic abuse. Health officials removed 27 children from the private facility that said it provided therapy to children with severe emotional and behavioral issues.

Aaron Bolton

The director of a private therapeutic treatment center for kids in northwestern Montana says he plans to appeal the state’s suspension of his license to operate.

Tuesday, state health officials removed more than two dozen kids from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford with a court order, citing “egregious, chronic, and persistent child abuse.”

7 p.m.:  This story has been updated with quotes from a DPHHS official.

The Montana State Health Department has removed 27 children from a youth treatment facility in northwest Montana called the Ranch for Kids, citing, “serious allegations of egregious, chronic, and persistent child abuse and neglect."

The Lincoln County District Court ordered the removal of the children from the ranch Tuesday, pending a full investigation.

The Capitol dome in Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill to change Montana's child sexual abuse laws, including lifting the statute of limitations for prosecuting such crimes, was signed Tuesday by Gov. Steve Bullock.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau, also extends from 21 to 27 the age deadline by which a victim of child sexual assault has to file a lawsuit against their abuser.

St. Ignatius Mission in St. Ignatius Montana.
Loren T. Vine (CC-BY-SA-2.5)

Thirty one members of the Jesuit Order who served in Montana are on a list of those with “credible claims” of sexual abuse against them released on Friday.

The list from the Jesuits West Province includes 111 members from 10 western states that the Order says possibly or did abuse minors or vulnerable adults.

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

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