As a former foster kid, stories like this scare me.

30 boys have been removed from a Prescott Boarding School on suspicion of neglect, abuse, and molestation.

The standard site visit according to the Walla Walla Sheriff's Department has caused the Masters West Ranch to be closed while an investigation is underway.

According to reports, The Walla Walla Sheriff's Department and Child Protective Services have been called out to the ranch several times in the last 13 days.

Reports from a press release say that several multiple CPS referrals also came in as alleged abuse or neglect are reported by students and ex-staff during the last few causing the investigation. WWSD is wasn't a "raid" but a standard site visit conducted after the allegations surfaced.

In the press release, the WWSD noted these visits and actions at the ranch:

May 7, 2020 five boys ran away from the ranch and were later located in Walla Walla in a vehicle stolen from Vista Hermosa in Prescott. These same five boys were also noted as having allegedly shoplifted from Wal Mart in College Place just prior to being located in Walla Walla in the stolen vehicle; CPPD handled the shoplift and WWSO handled the theft of motor vehicle. They were booked at JJC in Walla Walla.

May 10, 2020 two boys ran away from the ranch and were later located and returned to the ranch. May 12, 2020 report of abuse and/or use of excessive force by a staff member against an 11 year old is investigated.

May 13, 2020 a male employee of the ranch is arrested on charges of child molestation 3rd degree and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

May 18, 2020 WWSO Detectives and CPS case workers respond to the ranch to conduct a site visit and investigate allegations. After extensive investigation, 8 juveniles are taken into protective custody by CPS. These juveniles were taken to Walla Walla by CPS to be cared for and returned to their parents.

May 19, 2020 reports of 30 angry juveniles armed with shovels and brooms are outside the main house at the ranch, building toward a riot. A large police patrol response, from multiple agencies, along with detectives and CPS answer the call.

Around 3:20 PM the owner of the ranch states the ranch is shutting down and all remaining students are taken by parents or CPS to be cared for. Some thirty plus students are removed from the ranch.

Multiple investigations are ongoing at this time but the Walla Walla Sheriff's Department said if you have any questions relating to your children and/or the welfare of the children removed from Masters Ranch by CPS/DCYF please direct them to Debra Johnson at 306-789-7926.

If you have any information relating to criminal investigations in Walla Walla County, please contact WESCOM at 509-527-3265 or the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office at 509-524-5400 and request to speak to a WWSO detective.

I'm sure the families of the boys are scared and I hope it all turns out fine for the young men involved. If you want to read more on the subject, click here

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