CRIME

Treatment center, Turn-About Ranch, responds with statement

Feb 24, 2021, 6:33 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2021, 8:05 pm
Treatment center Utah lawsuit...
(Getty Image)
(Getty Image)

ESCALANTE, Utah- 

Update: Turn-About Ranch responds with a statement 

The following may be attributed to the administration of Turn-About Ranch: Dave Owen

“We at Turn-About Ranch strongly deny the allegations put forward in Ms. Allred’s press conference. Though Ms. Allred’s office has spent months soliciting a cash settlement, we were unaware that a suit would be filed.
 
“Upon learning of this young woman’s accusation, we took immediate action. Unfortunately, her father removed her from our facility before we could conduct a full inquiry. Both she and her father were unwilling to communicate with us from that time. We interviewed other students and staff members and were unable to corroborate her story. We fully cooperated with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, but without further contact with the accusing party, our options were limited.
 
“The next communication we received was a demand for cash payment in order to avoid litigation some months ago.
 
“We would never take lightly an allegation of mistreatment to any of our students. Now that this incident is the subject of litigation, we must withhold our full response for a later date. But it is important to note that these allegations were fully investigated and that the account given by opposing legal counsel to the media was incomplete, to say the least.”
 

A treatment center in Utah facing lawsuit:

A treatment center in Utah is facing a lawsuit from a Colorado woman. She is suing the Turn-About Ranch in Escalante, Utah.

Hannah Archuletta alleged she was sexually assaulted as a 17 year old while attending the treatment center in 2019. 

In a press conference Wednesday with her lawyers and father, Archuletta said she was abused twice and touched inappropriately by the same male staffer in October of 2019. She reported it after the second assault.

“He grabbed my butt and touched my vaginal area.” She said. 

She alleges she was then retaliated against for reporting it.

“I was required to spend extra time picking up horse manure, walking in circles around horse corral, and sitting at a desk facing a wall for hours.” 

Archuletta is speaking out after hearing Paris Hilton’s story of alleged abuse at a different Utah treatment center in the late 1990s.

“I’m here today to spread the message to every parent in America. Do not send your children to these places or endorse them.”

The Ranch has not responded KSL Newsradio’s calls for comment. But Archulletta’s lawer, Gloria Allred did respond to questions claiming the Ranch is denying the allegations.

“Obviously the Ranch is denying anything wrong happened, what would we say to that? And our answer is we look forward to litigating this case,” she said. Allred is a high-profile attorney who has represented women who’ve accused celebrities like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. 

Both Allred and Archuletta are speaking out because a vote is expected this week on a bill to bring oversight to utah’s teen treatment industry.

“There appears to be a major problem in Utah at some residential facilities,” Allred said.

The bill is being sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, and passed unanimously through a House committee Tuesday. Full House approval would send it to the Governor’s desk.

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Treatment center, Turn-About Ranch, responds with statement