Abuse, exploitation suit filed against youth program
This July, Rexford, Montana’s “Ranch for Kids,” a nonprofit of 15 years dedicated to caring for at-risk adopted children, particularly those with mental and physical debilities such as fetal alcohol syndrome and reactive attachment disorder, was placed under the microscope following the removal of 27 children from the grounds as a result of allegations of “egregious” abuse. Allegations included hitting, kicking, body slamming and spitting on the children, 20-mile “disciplinary” walks on remote U.S. Forest Service roads, food deprivation and psychological abuse. Now, the parents of one such child, a Spokane, Washington, native, are suing the ranch’s owner Bill Sutley, his brother Daniel Sutley and mother Joyce Sterkel, reports the Great Falls Tribune. The parents allege their son was subjected to extended periods of cruel isolation and was exploited for labor at the owner’s personal homes. Bill Sutley has since denied all allegations.