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Teens Say They Were Tied to Goats, Branded at Christian Programs

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  • An investigation by NBC details claims of abuse by two Christian programs run on Wyoming ranches.
  • Former attendees said they were traumatized, physically injured, and subjected to cruel punishment.
  • A lawsuit filed against the ranches in 2020 also alleged abuse, forced labor, and trafficking.

Former attendees of two Christian programs for at-risk youth said they had traumatizing experiences full of hard labor and strange punishments, according to an in-depth investigation by NBC News’ Tyler Kingkade published Wednesday.

The programs, which are run by the same family on nearby ranches in rural Wyoming, include Trinity Teen Solutions for girls and Triangle Cross Ranch for boys. More than 20 women who attended the girls’ ranch between 2007 and 2020 told NBC they were subjected to brutal manual labor that left them physically injured.

“From the time we woke up in the morning to the time we went back to sleep, we were always doing work. Always,” 19-year-old Taybre Conrad told NBC. “And they were having us do the type of stuff that grown men do.”

Former attendees said staff restricted their meals and forced them to dodge rattlesnakes on runs. Three women said they were tied to a goat with a leash for days after ranch employees called them “stubborn.”

One of the attendees of the boys’ ranch told NBC he had a lasting scar after employees branded his arm in the shape of a cross in 2012.

Trinity Teen Solutions and Triangle Cross Ranch did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment. The ranch owners also declined to comment to NBC.

A lawsuit filed by former attendees in December 2020 accused the ranches of human trafficking, abuse, forced labor, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. 

The lawsuit said attendees were forced to be silent for weeks at a time, slept in unheated quarters, were deprived of food and sleep, had restricted access to a bathroom, and were treated by unqualified therapists.

The family that owns the ranches denied the accusations in the lawsuit, the Casper Star-Tribune reported at the time.

“Trinity denies these allegations, we have never used our patients to do forced or unpaid labor,” Angela Woodward, who runs the girls’ ranch, said. “The population that we work with at our program are a very difficult and high risk population of patients. They have had many treatment failures prior to parents sending them to Trinity as a last resort to help their daughter.”

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