Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anderson Cooper 360 investigates Pinehaven

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch in St. Ignatius is no stranger to controversy. The Indy has reported on the boarding school and allegations of abuse for years. A March 2011 story about runaways found in Missoula included a number of alumni and former employees speaking out about a history of abuse.

According to notarized affidavits and written testimony from five past ranch employees, Pinehaven staffers allegedly use excessive force—like choking, for instance—to subdue residents. Former youth home employees assert in those documents, obtained by the Independent, that kids also receive insufficient medical and psychiatric care. And, on at least two occasions, once in 2004 and again in 2006, Pinehaven employees engaged in sexual activity with residents under the age of 18.

Pinehaven founder and director Bob Larsson has always disputed the allegations and stood by the school's practices. Now, he's allowed CNN to film on the campus.

Anderson Cooper 360 and reporter Gary Tuchman launched this week a three-part look at Pinehaven in connection with the show's ongoing "UnGodly Discipline" series. You can see the first two installments here. The last one airs tonight.



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