The daughter of a couple charged with over 100 counts of abusing girls at their hard-line religious school says her attempts to expose them were ignored by Missouri police and prosecutors for over a decade.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Amanda Householder revealed the deeply disturbing torture she and ‘hundreds’ of other young girls allegedly suffered at the hands of her parents.
The 30-year-old said her father would beat her and others with golf clubs, threaten his ‘students’ into assaulting other girls, force them to drink laxatives and to stand facing a wall all day, every day for months, and was accused of raping at least two of the girls at his ranch.
Boyd Householder, 71, and his wife Stephanie, 55, were charged last week with 102 counts that they sexually, emotionally, or physically abused girls for years at Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in Cedar County, Missouri.
Amanda Householder revealed to DailyMailTV the deeply disturbing torture she and ‘hundreds’ of other young girls allegedly suffered at the hands of her parents
Boyd Householder (left) 71, faces 79 felony and one misdemeanor charge, including several counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and abuse and neglect of a child. His wife Stephanie (right) 55, was charged with 22 counts, most involving abuse or neglect of a child
Amanda said the prosecution follows decades of reports to Child Protective Services and law enforcement, and was only launched after a swarm of her social media followers bombarded the Cedar County sheriff and district attorney’s offices with demands for justice.
The Householders were first reported to Child Protective Services around 27 years ago by Amanda’s own grandmother, the 30-year-old told DailyMailTV, but said she was told to hide her brutal spanking bruises from the police.
Amanda claimed that in 2007 a parent of a child at Circle of Hope reported the couple to the Attorney General and the FBI as well as nine other law enforcement agencies, but that officers failed to follow up.
The Householder daughter said despite amassing dozens of accounts from former students alleging abuse at the hands of her parents, a local prosecutor in Humansville, Missouri, did not return her calls.
And when a Missouri Highway Patrol officer assembled an 11-inch thick binder of all the victims’ statements and presented them to the district attorney of a neighboring county in 2018, he was turned away, the mother-of-two told DailyMailTV.
‘Every time he called me after an interview he was crying. He said he doesn’t appreciate that someone is using his God to abuse these girls,’ she said.
Amanda said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous, took his report to the Springfield District Attorney, outside of Cedar County, because he feared the sway the Householders had over local law enforcement.
‘I know that my dad has a lot of friends within the sheriff’s department because he would give sharp-shooting lessons to the sheriffs in that town,’ she said – adding that the owner of another allegedly abusive school her parents worked at had multiple family members on the force.
Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney told DailyMailTV that his county’s law enforcement started the criminal investigation into the Householders.
The prosecutor, Ty Gaither, added that they ‘requested the office of the Missouri Attorney General to assist in the investigation and prosecution of this matter,’ but declined to comment on the investigation.
The 30-year-old tells DailyMailTV that her father would beat her and others with golf clubs, threaten his ‘students’ into assaulting other girls. She’s pictured as a teen
The couple are the founders of Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, a Christian reform boarding school in Cedar County, Missouri. Their daughter Amanda (pictured top left) who was also a student, began sharing videos of the alleged abuse on social media last year, prompting other victims to come forward
Amanda said she ended up waging a five-year campaign, gathering accounts of abuse from other children who attended Householder schools and gaining hundreds of thousands of followers – including fellow alleged school abuse survivor Paris Hilton – by sharing her story on Podcasts, Youtube, Instagram and TikTok.
Eventually the hundreds of incessant calls by her followers to the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office and the DA spurred Missouri prosecutors to act, with Attorney General Eric Schmitt announcing charges against her parents last Wednesday.
Amanda said her father first got a taste for beating his children in the early 1990s after his wife convinced him to start going to church in Florida, despite the couple recently leaving the military to get away from religion.
‘We were always spanked because that’s how my mom and dad were raised,’ the 30-year-old said. ‘But it just changed. Now they were being preached to that what they were doing was right and that the bible says ”spare the rod, beat the child,” and that it’s better to have a pink bottom than a black heart.
‘Our beatings were pretty much every time we came home from church.
‘Eventually me and my brother got smart and wanted to stop the pain, so we put on as many pairs of underwear as we could,’ she added.
‘That didn’t work so we started putting books in our underwear. When my dad found out… he eventually started spanking us bare-bottom. We literally could be beaten for anything.
‘We would have our mouths washed out with soap, baking soda, hot sauce, things like that.’
Amanda says she attempted to expose her parents alleged abuse for over a decade but was ignored by police and prosecutors. She’s pictured at the all-girls boarding school
‘We would have our mouths washed out with soap, baking soda, hot sauce, things like that,’ Amanda said
Amanda, who now lives in Hesperia, California, said that the Householders were first reported to CPS by her own grandmother around 1993 in Florida.
She said her maternal grandmother called Child Protective Services after seeing welts and bruises left by a brutal spanking, but she said the case was dropped – the first in a long line of reports of abuse by the twisted couple that authorities allegedly ignored.
Amanda, who now lives in Hesperia, California, said that the Householders were first reported to CPS by her own grandmother around 1993 in Florida. She’s pictured as a little girl
The Householders began working in extreme religious children’s homes in Florida and Virginia in the mid-1990s, and in 1998 Boyd was hired as principal of Hope Children’s Home, a hard-line co-educational boarding school in Tampa.
She said she first tried to speak out about her parents’ abuse after Boyd discarded horse crops as too soft and started using golf club handles to beat them.
A student she told about the alleged torture went to Hope Children’s Home owner Mike Higgins, who arranged a meeting with Boyd, Stephanie and Amanda, she told DailyMailTV.
‘My dad had me look at Mike Higgins and tell him I was lying,’ Amanda said. ‘When he left, my dad got up off his seat, went over to his golf bag and unscrewed his golf club and started hitting the table.
‘With every hit he said ‘I. Did. Not. Hit. You. With. A. Golf. Club.’ – he ‘hit me with a stick.’
‘It went from him hitting the table to him beating me, to the point of I was trying to crawl under the carpet.’
In 2001 the family moved to Agapé, an all-boys Christian boarding school in Stockton, Missouri that claimed to ‘turn around rebellious boys’.
Amanda said it was there that her parents got their inspiration for their alleged torture techniques at their own hellish boot camp that they would later set up – including ‘the wall’.
‘The only thing you can do is look at the wall with your nose to the wall, or read your bible. You can’t move,’ she explained.
Amanda said Boyd, who was hired as principal at Agapé, forced one 12-year-old boy to ‘the wall’, all day, every day for months.
She claimed her father also subjected her to the punishment for months, causing her to get a urinary tract infection from repeatedly not being allowed to urinate all day.
The mother of two said she would frequently see boys being ‘dragged’ to Agapé’s ‘restraint room’ when they were deemed ‘out of control’.
‘That’s where you’re slammed to the ground and five staff members sit on your pressure points pushing as much weight on you as they possibly can to put you into pain,’ she said.
Missouri Highway Patrol announced an investigation into Agapé last month after a slew of abuse claims.
Amanda alleged boys as young as nine at the school were subjected to grueling, unpaid labor in its ‘boot camp’, hauling rocks all day. She said several of the campus buildings were built using its young students.
Circle of Hope (pictured) closed in August after investigators removed about two dozen girls
In a secretly recorded video obtained by DailyMail.com, Boyd can be heard encouraging his students to be violent towards another girl, saying: ‘Knock her out. I mean it and that goes for the rest of you’, while his wife sits nearby
‘Boot camp is basically like military boot camp multiplied by 20, because these were little kids that didn’t willingly sign up and they were tortured,’ she said.
‘I was under the impression that most of these kids were court-ordered gang members. But when I grew up and started talking to them I found most of them were adopted and their parents didn’t want to deal with them.
‘These kids weren’t bad kids, they were just failed.’
In Spring 2006 Boyd and Stephanie left – because Agapé was ‘becoming too nice’ – to set up their own school nearby, Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, also focusing on adopted children.
‘At this time I was still brainwashed into believing that any time I was beaten it was because I did something wrong,’ she said.
‘Eventually I started realizing my dad opened up Circle of Hope for his own sick perversions.’
Amanda said the school became a living hell, where the girls were forced to police and assault each other, cook and clean, and take turns giving massages to Boyd in his office.
‘Push-ups, jumping jacks, standing on the wall and the restraints, all of the Agapé programs, started at Circle of Hope,’ she said.
One ‘restraint’ punishment, doled out for straying more than three feet from your assigned student buddy, involved Boyd grabbing a girl by the neck and ‘slamming her into the ground,’ his daughter claimed.
‘Other young teenagers had to come running over and put weight on all of their pressure points until they were screaming,’ Amanda said.
‘My dad looked at us and said ”If she’s not screaming loud enough, you are next.”
The 30-year-old said girls as young as 11 would be ‘restrained’ on gravel or animal feces at the ranch, leaving them with bloodied faces.
‘You could be restrained in chicken poop, horse manure, gravel, it didn’t matter,’ she said.
‘This is what haunts me the most,’ Amanda added. ‘Hurting another person, causing someone else pain. I have apologized to all the girls.’
One girl with a mental disability was constantly subjected to the punishment according to Boyd’s daughter.
She said the Filipino girl arrived at the ranch age 17, and remained there for 13 years after her adoptive parents signed over guardianship.
Amanda told DailyMailTV how she and her classmates were forced to gang up on their own peers as a form of punishment. She also revealed how it took years for authorities to finally take acting against the school
The mother of two told DailyMailTV that when a Missouri Highway Patrol officer assembled an 11-inch thick binder of all the victims’ statements and presented them to the district attorney of a neighboring county in 2018, he was turned away
Other punishments included chugging water until they were sick, or large quantities of laxative Metamucil.
Age 15, Amanda and a friend escaped the ranch and got as far as New Mexico, but were sent home when she ran out of money and had to call her grandparents.
She said around 2009 her parents finally kicked her out, and she began the slow process of rehabilitation, moving to California and in 2015 beginning her five-year campaign that eventually resulted in her parents’ prosecution.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said during a news conference last Wednesday that Boyd faces 79 felony charges and one misdemeanor charge, including several counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and abuse and neglect of a child.
Stephanie is charged with 22 counts, most involving abuse or neglect of a child. Her charges do not involve sexual contact. She is also accused of restraining students and allowing her husband to have continued contact with several girls after he physically assaulted them.
‘I fully believe that they do deserve to be behind bars,’ their daughter said.
‘They traumatized hundreds of kids for 26 years, and I just hope they see that. I hope they see that they did something wrong so they can finally be at peace with themselves.’