Arrow-right Camera

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, a Spokane boys’ home, is an institution beloved by many. Others, however, say the ranch was a place where they endured physical and sexual abuse. Follow the investigation here.


  • Stories
  • Blog Posts
  • Documents

  • Thu., Feb. 11, 2010, 12:21 p.m.

    2 jurors removed from Boys’ Ranch case

    Two jurors will be removed from deliberations in the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch sexual abuse case because of misconduct. Two alternate jurors will be brought in.


  • Wed., Feb. 10, 2010, midnight

    Jury deliberates abuse case

    Jurors in the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch trial began deliberations Tuesday afternoon after opposing attorneys tried to define the case as all about accountability or all about profit. “This case …


  • Tue., Feb. 9, 2010, 6:06 p.m.

    Morning Star abuse case goes to jurors

    Jurors in the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch trial began deliberations Tuesday afternoon after opposing attorneys tried to define the case as all about accountability or all about profit.


  • Tue., Feb. 9, 2010, midnight

    Defense questions accuser

    Attorneys defending Morning Star Boys’ Ranch rested their case on Monday after bringing the ranch’s accuser, Kenneth Putnam, to the stand in the civil trial’s last day of testimony. Closing …


  • Mon., Feb. 8, 2010, 5:32 p.m.

    Accuser takes the stand again in Morning Star trial

    Attorneys defending Morning Star Boys’ Ranch rested their case on Monday after bringing the ranch’s accuser, Kenneth Putnam, to the stand in the civil trial’s last day of testimony.


  • Fri., Feb. 5, 2010, midnight

    Former ranch director denies abuse allegations

    The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner said Thursday that he would sometimes get angry during his 52-year career at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, but that he “never, never” sexually abused the boys …


  • Wed., Feb. 3, 2010, midnight

    Lawyer refutes payoff claim

    A former attorney for Morning Star Boys’ Ranch rebutted the testimony of a witness who said the ranch’s former director paid him to keep quiet about alleged abuse in the …


  • Tue., Feb. 2, 2010, midnight

    Testimony contests abuse claim

    A former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch testified Monday that Kenneth Putnam was motivated by financial gain in suing the ranch for alleged abuse. Spokane County Superior Court jurors …


  • Mon., Feb. 1, 2010, 7:51 p.m.

    Defense suggests financial motive in Morning Star suit

    A former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch testified Monday that Kenneth Putnam was motivated by financial gain in suing the ranch for alleged abuse.


  • Fri., Jan. 29, 2010, midnight

    Putnam often combative, witness says

    A former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch employee and close friend of a counselor accused of abusing a former ranch resident testified Thursday that he never saw inappropriate conduct. Ray Roberts, …


  • Thu., Jan. 28, 2010, midnight

    Witness says ranch knew of abuser

    Attorneys for a former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch resident rested their civil case in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday after bringing to the stand an 84-year-old woman who testified …


  • Wed., Jan. 27, 2010, midnight

    Ranch’s standard of care criticized

    For decades, Morning Star Boys’ Ranch was run entirely by its director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, without oversight by the board of directors, whose members were concerned more about property …


  • Tue., Jan. 26, 2010, midnight

    Witness says he was paid to keep quiet

    A former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch told a Superior Court jury on Monday that he was repeatedly abused by the ranch’s director more than 30 years ago and …


  • Fri., Jan. 22, 2010, midnight

    Sex procurement alleged in boys’ ranch trial

    An unexpected witness may testify that former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch director Joseph Weitensteiner had him procure boys for sex and then gave the witness money years later to keep …


  • Thu., Jan. 21, 2010, 1:53 p.m.

    Attorney alleges ranch director paid for witness’ silence

    An unexpected witness may testify that former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch director Joseph Weitensteiner had him procure boys for sex and then gave him money to keep it quiet years …


  • Thu., Jan. 21, 2010, midnight

    Boys ranch ex-director testifies

    Patrick O’Donnell – whose infamy as the abuser of as many as 66 children was inextricably linked to the scandal that bankrupted the Catholic Diocese of Spokane – also insinuated …


  • Wed., Jan. 20, 2010, midnight

    Boys ranch abuse trial opens

    Either Morning Star Boys’ Ranch management turned a blind eye to decades of child sexual abuse or it is being persecuted by discreditable former residents looking to make a buck. …


  • Tue., Jan. 19, 2010, 12:28 p.m.

    Lawyers lay out cases in Morning Star trial

    An attorney for a former resident of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch accused the group home for troubled boys of turning a blind eye to longstanding sexual abuse there, while an …


  • Thu., Jan. 7, 2010, midnight

    Abuse trial witness list grows

    Attorneys for a man alleging he was abused at Morning Star Boys’ Ranch scored a partial victory Wednesday when a judge ruled four other alleged victims can testify in the …


  • Wed., Jan. 6, 2010, midnight

    Region in brief: Pretrial motions heard in boys ranch abuse case

    A Spokane County Superior Court judge heard pretrial motions on Tuesday in a lawsuit against Morning Star Boys Ranch by a former resident who claims he was sexually abused by …