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Five lawsuits have been filed against staff of former Randolph County youth treatment center

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 
February 26, 2024

Nearly a decade after a behavioral rehabilitation facility known as the Lord's Ranch closed down, 52 people who were sent there as young children and teenagers have filed a total of five lawsuits against former administrators and employees claiming they were subjected to horrific sexual and physical abuse during their time there.

The Lord's Ranch, founded in 1976 by Bud Suhl, a convicted felon from California, and his wife, Shirley, was billed as an idyllic facility "nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Ozark foothills," consisting of "over 1,100 acres of green rolling hills, small shimmering lakes, flowering trees and horse pastures," that promised "tranquility, a restful atmosphere, peace and the beauty of nature."

But, according to the five federal complaints by 52 now-adult plaintiffs who were sent to the Lord's Ranch between 1985 and 2010, the remote setting of the facility in Warm Springs in far northern Randolph County near the Missouri border was a torture chamber of repeated serial sexual and physical abuse that left them with a lifetime of mental and physical scars.

Read more of Dale Ellis' reporting in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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