"keeping children safe by exposing residential treatment centers/private boarding schools and their continued abuse against the children in their care."

                          News & Events                              

The Troubled Teen Industry has been plagued with lawsuits and deaths since its beginning. All recent lawsuits and deaths will be reported on this page. Every child that suffers in these types of facilities deserves justice. Every child that has had their life taken from them due to neglect at these places is a waste. Every child that now suffers after-effects of programs even years after they have been out is the reason these lawsuits happen. It is common for children exiting these places to be damaged for months if not years. Symptoms ranging from, but not limited too, Anxiety, Depression, Attempted Suicide, Suicide, Murder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Attacks, Flash Backs and Nightmares. It is our duty at Safe Teen Schools to report the lawsuits and deaths to the public, to bring awareness of what is happening right under our noses.
Ben Trane, Owner of Midwest Academy Denied Appeal in Iowa Supreme Court
In 2016 Midwest Academy was raided and shut down by the FBI. In 2018 Ben Trane, the owner of Midwest Academy, then stood trial against allegations of child abuse and child sexual abuse. Ben was found guilty by a jury of his peers. Unwilling to accept his fate, Ben then fought all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court to defend his innocence while being out of prison. Fortunately, the evidence stood for itself and through the Iowa Supreme Court, Ben Trane was denied a new trial and will now finally be serving the 9 years of prison he was originally sentenced too. Survivors of Midwest Academy, those that have fought for years to expose the facility and Ben are finally validated and are getting the justice they absolutely deserve. 

To read the article, CLICK HERE
Northwest Academy Teacher Arrested After Reports Students Being Abused
Caleb Hill was booked and charged with child abuse, neglect or endangerment. The child described being slammed on the floor on several occasions by Hill, who did not deny the accusations. Children claimed injuries and broken bones were often refused medical care.
Blood and hair samples were also taken from the children to test for arsenic and other harmful substances. Northwest Academy has known for years the water was contaminated but stopped water treatment in 2016

To read the article CLICK HERE.
Teen Girl Dies After Cries For Help Were Ignored by Staff For Days
A teenage girl collapsed at Newport News Mental Health Care Center (UHS) after complaining for days of being sick. Raven Keffer a 17 year old girls cries went ignored for days until she became unable to walk and then collapsed to the ground. Keffer died hours later at a local hospital. The mental health facility is now under fire from the local police department as they begin to investigate the claims of neglect and abuse. 
We at Safe Teen Schools would like to send our condolences to the family of Raven Keffer. We are so sorry for your loss. We would also like to thank the staff member that stepped forward to talk to the fire department and let them know that Keffers cried for help were ignored.

To read the article CLICK HERE.
Midwest Academy Owner Ben Trane Found Guilty On All Charges
After the Facility shut down in January 2016, Benjamin Trane was brought to trial in December of 2017. During the week long trial the jury heard from both sides, and chose to convict the former boarding school owner on all charges. Benjamin Trane was found guilty of child endangerment, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation of a child by a counselor. He has not yet been sentenced to the charges but faces up to 9 years in prison as well as being made to register as a convicted sex offender and will not longer be able to work with children.

To read the article CLICK HERE.
Ben Trane of Midwest Academy Charged With Sexually Abusing Teens
Ben Trane is being charged with assaulting female students in his care while he was owner of Midwest Academy. Current allegations include, using his status of control over female student to sexually assault them in exchange for special treatment under his care. Forcing girls to stand in their underwear in from of a mirror to work on "body issues". Buying lingerie from Victoria Secret for female student. Currently Ben Trane is out on bail staying at apartments he used to own, that is now owned by one of his friends. 
To read the article CLICK HERE.
New Haven RTC Therapist May Spend Life In Prison
Jason Calder may spend the rest of his life in prison after grooming a young teen he was counseling at New Haven. Calder was the therapist to the young girl and took advantage of his position of power and used it to his advantage to engage in unlawful acts with the vulnerable teen girl.

To read the article CLICK HERE.

Sexual Assault at Diamond Ranch Academy
Diamond Ranch Academy is once again under fire, this time due sexual assault allegations from 2016. Along with DRA, an ex staff member, Troy Ammon Carter was also named in the lawsuit. Allegations state that Carter groomed young women in the care of DRA for sexual relations. It states that DRA failed to protect the children in their care after Carter displayed multiple warning signs of a predator. 

To read the article CLICK HERE.
To read the lawsuit CLICK HERE.
DRA Sued By Grieving Parents From 2013 Death Of Their Child
The grieving parents of a child that passed away allegedly due to the neglect of the Diamond Ranch Academy staff, is suing. In the lawsuit it claims that the juvenile child who was prone to suicide attempts and behavior was left alone for a period of time giving him the opportunity to attempt to take his own life. DRA staff allegedly took the child off of suicide watch 2 days prior to the suicide attempt, while knowing that his mental state was not what it should be. It is reported that a therapist told DRA staff that the child's mental state was a concern and that they fully believed he would try to kill himself. Even with this information in hand, DRA staff allegedly still took the child off of suicide watch and allowed him enough time alone to take off his belt and hang himself from a shower rod in the bathroom. Allegedly upon finding the boy's body, the staff left him hanging for approximately 2 minutes until they took him down. The child passed away later at the hospital.

To Read The Article CLICK HERE.

To Read The Lawsuit CLICK HERE.
Midwest Academy Owner Is Sex Abuse Suspect
Recent news has surfaced that labels the owner of Midwest Academy, Ben Trane, the sex abuse suspect. The facility, which has been in operation for 13 years, and has been under Ben Trane's ownership since 2007 has multiple claims over abuse over many years. Computers, cameras, and cellphones were seized during the raid on January 28-29 2016. also seized were DNA samples and credit cards. 

To read the article CLICK HERE.
Midwest Academy Investigation By DCI
Midwest Academy is currently in the hot seat as they were raided and served search warrants at the main campus and a house affiliated with the facility. The search warrants stem from an investigation into allegations of sexual assault of a former student by a staff member. To read the article CLICK HERE.

DHS gives parents 24 hours to pick up their children from the Midwest Academy campus. 
To read the article CLICK HERE.

Previous Midwest Academy employee files whistle blower lawsuit against Midwest Academy, for allegedly firing her after she reported possible sexual abuse of a child in the facility.
To read the article CLICK HERE. 

Who Is Behind Midwest Academy? To read the article CLICK HERE.

FBI Return to Midwest Academy for More Records. To read the article CLICK HERE.

Ex-Students Say Boarding School Kept Them in Isolation Boxes. To read the article CLICK HERE.

Diamond Ranch Academy's Science Teacher Faces Charges
Chad Huntsman was booked into the Iron County Jail on Sept 3rd 2015, charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and 2 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. Police found that the IP addresses used with his email account and IPhone were Huntsman's - one at his home and another at Diamond Ranch Academy. Not only did Huntsman admit to possessing and sharing child porn, he also admitted to taking some of the pictures.
Chad Huntsman's wife has also been arrested on child porn charges! Jessica Huntsman was arrested for 3 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Jessica also worked for Diamond Ranch Academy!

Read Full Article CLICK HERE.
Parents Sue Discovery Ranch with Claims of Sexual Abuse
A lawsuit claiming a boy was sexually assaulted repeatedly by another boy at Discover Ranch in Mapleton Utah, has surfaced. Discovery Ranch is A facility that is under the umbrella corporation of RedCliff Ascents. Parents claim that Discovery Ranch failed to adequately investigate the assailant for deviant and violent tendencies.
The family claims the assaults "went undiscovered and unchecked and were only revealed when the assailant was transferred from Discovery Ranch after engaging in bestiality with a horse.
To read the article CLICK HERE.
Guess Which State Does the Worst Job Protecting Kids From Death, Abuse, and Alleged Rapes
"Is Florida the most dangerous place in the country for children with disabilities, behavior disorders or the sheer misfortune to be born into abusive families?"

Reporter Art Levine dives deep into abuse plaguing the state of Florida. What he found was extremely shocking to say the least. He also dives in on the recent Allegations at Abundant Life Academy where staff were caught on camera beating a 14 year old boy. We would like to personally thank Art for mentioning Safe Teen Schools in his article. 

To read the article CLICK HERE
Reform School Survivors Allege Abuse Of Their Personal Files Too
Many former students of WWASP (World Wide Association of Specialty Programs) can not get their personal record from the time they stayed at a facility. Some have taken it upon themselves to find the answers that many are searching for. Personal documents have been located by previous students, found in dumpsters behind the facilities, and one facility has left the files inside the abandoned building itself. Its not really hard to say that STS is not surprised at the action of the facilities, the children they had in their care they abused. So why would their sensitive documents matter? It is just another blow to survivors trying desperately to pick up the pieces after so much was taken from them. 
To read the full article CLICK HERE.
Abundant Life Academy Employees Caught On Camera Beating Teenage Boy In Their Care
Abundant Life Academy employees have been caught on camera assaulting a 14 year old boy who was in their care at the Caroline County VA facility. During an attempt to run from the facility, three life coaches and a director of the program brutally beat the boy. 
Investigators got involved in April 2014 when four teenagers escaped from the boarding school. While detained the boys opened up to officers about the allegations of assault and abuse at the facility.

To read the news article and watch the video please CLICK HERE (WARNING: The video is graphic.)
Kidnapped For Christ set to Appear on ShowTime!
We are proud to announce that the amazing documentary, Kidnapped For Christ, is set to appear on ShowTime! Kidnapped For Christ goes behind the scenes of a boarding facility in the Dominican Republic. These facilities are unregulated to the point where they are allowed to do whatever they wish with the children and get away with it. We would like to thank Kate Logan for her amazing work by shedding light on this horrible industry! 
To watch the trailer CLICK HERE.
One Woman's Journey to Expose Her Abuser
For 25 years, Jennifer Halter has struggled with the abuse she endured as a child at New Bethany Home For Girls, a northern Louisiana Christian based boarding facility. Motivated by a medical condition known as Histiocytosis X, Jennifer has finally spoken out about the abused that she endured behind the barbed wire fences at New Bethany. Jennifer met with other survivors of the facility who shared the same stories as she did even though they were not in New Bethany at the same time. Due to the internet it has made finding other survivors of New Bethany and its owner Mack W. Ford, much more simple, giving these women a chance to not feel alone any longer. 

To read the first installment CLICK HERE

To read the second installment CLICK HERE
Family Sues Tierra Blanca Ranch Over Death And Torture Of Son
The family of a young boy who died in the care of Tierra Blanca Ranch is suing the facility with claims of torture. While the boys dead was contributed to him being thrown out of a vehicle when it over turned, the family claims their son was physically and psychologically tortured. The lawsuit claims that the child was forced to eat house waste, had jalapeno juice poured into his eyes, and was handcuffed and shackled like an animal. 
These allegations are nothing new against this facility as the abuse they force on the children has hit the news fast and hard, exposing the true nature of the facility and its owner, Scott Chandler. While the facility advertises it can rehabilitate troubled youth, the children are instead subjected to horrendous abuse by the hands of unqualified staff. The staff at Tierra Blanca are not trained to work with at-risk youth, they also don't have therapists of counselors on staff to handle issues from troubled youth. The lawsuit states that the owner seduces parents to sending their child to the ranch, although they advertise an environment for them to grow and learn about their issues. This type of false advertising is nothing new in the Troubled Teen Industry.
For a link to the lawsuit CLICK HERE.
For a link to the news article CLICK HERE.
55 Bodies Found at Reform School in Florida
Researchers have retrieved the remains of 55 bodies. nearly double the number originally believed to be buried there over many decades. The exhumation of the bodies marks a milestone in a painstaking effort to unravel the mystery of what happened to the scores of children who were sent to the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna Florida and died. Even with all of the evidence piling against them school officials repeatedly denied any wrong doing. With the facility that kept inaccurate records, burial locations were not always recorded and the cause of death was sometimes listed as "unknown". A Florida Department of Law Enforcement inquiry completed in 2009 had concluded that 31 boys were buried in a cemetery on the Dozier School campus. With already over the amount of bodies they expected to find while only digging in one cemetery on the campus so far. We wonder how many bodies they will find and we hope that the relatives searching for what happened to their loved ones finds the answers they are looking for. This story truly is a heartbreaking tale of young boys who lost their lives at the hands of people no qualified to work with children. 
To read the full story CLICK HERE.
Dr. Phil McGraw Is Sued Over Sending A Child To A Boarding Facility
Dr. Phil McGraw's actions of sending children into the abusive Troubled Teen Industry has finally caught up with him. Dr. Phil has been advertising and sending children to boarding facilities for troubled youth for years now and it has finally come back to haunt him. A family appeared on the Dr. Phil Show to ask for help for their daughter who was acting out. Dr. Phil belittled the family and pushed to send the teenage girl to Island View Academy in Utah. Little did the good Doctor know that this would be the cause that would finally expose him as a marketing arm for the extremely abusive Troubled Teen Industry. 
Along with Dr. Phil McGraw, Bain Capital, CRC Health Group, Aspen Educational Group, Island View Academy, and a math teacher at the facility are also being sued in federal court for fraud, false imprisonment, and breach of fiduciary duty.
The teenage girl who had a troubled past was placed in the care of Island View Academy off of the recommendation of Dr. Phil. At the facility the young girl was taken away from everyone she loved, her communication was cut off from the outside world, was placed in isolation, and even had her arm broken and the nerve severely damaged by the math teacher at the facility. 
To read the full article please CLICK HERE.
Survivor Convention 2014
SURVIVORS! It is that time once again! The 2014 Survivors Convention organized by SIA will be taking place in New York City, May 1st-4th 2014! During this amazing weekend you will hear from survivors and advocates! We want to give a big thank you to SIA for putting on the convention and bringing survivors together for a weekend to remember! Please don't forget to come and join the events and look for us! Safe Teen Schools will be there to show support of SIA and to survivors! To help support our cause we will be selling T-shirts and other merchandise. All of the money raised will be put back into STS to go toward research, informing the public, helping survivors, and exposing child abuse! For more information please visit SIA's website! For information on the convention please CLICK HERE!
6 Shocking Realities of the Secret 'Troubled Teen Industry' 
In this article published by Cracked, you will here from a Troubled Teen Industry survivor on what happened to them during their stay in a Montana wilderness program. Six harsh realities of what truly happens to children who are placed in the care of facilities such as this. When all is said and done the question you have to ask yourself is, "What are they REALLY doing with these kids". They do not advertise that they mentally and physically abuse the children, they do not tell you the staff is unqualified, but they paint a beautiful picture of what you want to see. Don't be fooled by the marketing and lies, read the truth. To read the article please CLICK HERE.
Leake & Watts Teacher Charged With Rape
After only working at Leake & Watts for three months, 34 year old Meaghan White has been charged with the rape of a 16 year old boy. Even though White was given a "rigorous" background check by the facility, she had sex with an under age boy on multiple occasion and different locations. 
To read the news article please CLICK HERE.
It has come to our attention that there has been another death at the facility known as Diamond Ranch Academy. The first death reported was back in 2009 where a young boy died because of lack of medical care. In this case, a boy was taken off suicide watch 2 days prior to his death. This poor child was found hanging from a belt in the showers. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for children to either attempt or complete a suicide either in a facility or shortly after they return home. Our question is, why was this boy left alone long enough to cause his own death? A child, who was just on suicide watch 2 days prior, was left alone to perish at his own hands. What drove this boy to the point of no return? Was he being neglected and/or abused in Diamond Ranch Academy? There are countless allegations of neglect and child torture coming from this facility, not to mention the death of the boy in 2009. So why was the life of this child taken so soon? What drove this poor soul to think there was no way out? Unfortunately, we will never know.
To read the article, CLICK HERE
Tierra Blanca Ranch and Owner Under Investigation For Child Torture
Tierra Blanca Ranch along with the owner Scott Chandler advertise that parents can trust them with their children. They advertises that the Ranch will give  a "New Beginning" to the children in their care. 
As the investigation was underway many previous students came forward with stories of extreme child torture and neglect. Children who were in Custody of the Ranch also paint a disturbing picture of life at Tierra Blanca Ranch and its owner Scott Chandler.
Students have told the police that they were beaten, shackled, were refused showers, were forced to beat and attack other students, worked 15 hour days of hard labor in extreme temperatures, almost no communication with their parents, slept in tents, were threatened with castration, and there was no therapy whatsoever. We at Safe Teen Schools are appalled at what we have heard. It is not uncommon for these things to happen to children in the Troubled Teen Industry.
For news stories on Tierra Blanca Ranch, which include video testimony from students from the facility please
CLICK HERE and please watch the video below.
Cross Creek Manor, Now Youth Foundation Success Academy is in the news again, this time being sued again for child torture. Cross Creek Manor is linked with the notorious WWASP organization. To view a news article about the lawsuit please CLICK HERE.
Former Youth Facility Employee Accused of Showing Porn
Donald Brown Jr. former employee of Youth Foundation Success Academy has been charged with ten accounts of dealing in harmful materials to minors, all third degree felonies. Donald Brown is accused of showing male students video of him engaging in sexual activities with his wife and other women. When his wife was questioned about the videos she stated that she knew that they videotaped their adult interactions at home. Donald Brown's wife just so happens to be another employee at Youth Foundation Success Academy. Brown defends himself saying he is innocent and that he talked with the boys in detail about having sexual relations with his wife. In our opinion at Safe Teen Schools talking with young boys or showing them videos of sexual interaction is wrong. We will be following this case closely and will be giving updates as they come in. For a link to the article CLICK HERE.
Students Recall Special Schools Run Like Jails
The New York Times ran a story of a young man who was sent to a Boarding School for Troubled Youth. Instead of getting help like his parents thought, he was constantly abused and tormented. This young man received no proper help like many youth being forced into these types of facilities. In this report by the New York Times they also try and break down the WWASP web so to speak. While interviewing Robert Lichfield He denied any involvement with any open facility. This is unfortunately not true. He has been linked to all of the properties that are involved with WWASP. This young man who was abused at Horizon Academy, a facility which merged with Cross Creek Manor, then changed their name to Youth Foundation Success Academy which is run by Jade Robinson. Jade Robinson is extremely familiar with WWASP and their organization, as he himself help start and ran a few facilities. Mr. Robinson also has allegations of abuse against him personally. To read the full story please CLICK HERE.
Southwest Utah Youth Home Director Accused Of Rape
Daniel Taylor, the 42 year old Director of Integrity House RTC was taken into custody on suspicion of Three counts of Felony Rape, Three counts of Felony Sexual Assault of a Child and One count of Misdemeanor Assault and Abuse.  Although the Director was arrested for rape the facility will remain open and ownership is being changed. This is a common trend in the Troubled Teen Industry. We will have more of the story as it develops. To link to the news article please CLICK HERE.
Lawsuit Against Mount Dora Deaf School
A lawsuit filed April 11th 2013 against Mount Dora Deaf School alleges that patients at the facility have suffered extreme neglect and abuse while management reported very little to the police.
Allegations include patients living in deplorable conditions, patients being punched, kicked, choked and even death.
If you have any information or if you yourself or someone you know has been neglected at Mount Dora please contact Lawyer Mike Farrell who has taken on the case. He can be reached at
(305) 390 0570.
To read the allegations against this facility