Civil lawsuits against owners of Circle of Hope ranch settled

Stephanie and Boyd Householder

Four civil lawsuits filed against a reform school in southwest Missouri have been settled.

Four former students sued the owners of the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, saying they were raped, thrown against walls and forced to eat until they vomited.  The terms of the settlements remain confidential. 

The owners of the school, Boyd and Stephanie Householder, together face more than 100 charges, including statutory rape, sodomy and physical abuse.

The investigation into the Householders shed light on abuse claims at numerous Christian reform schools and prompted the legislature to pass a bill requiring state oversight of such schools.  The bill was signed by the Governor last week.