This is a  staff list for Sorenson's Ranch School in Koosharem, UT

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)


We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at Sorenson's Ranch School.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Sorenson's Ranch School, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Sorenson's Ranch School, please contact if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.


Please don’t place your loved one in Sorenson's Ranch School and rescue them if they are there now.




Additional Information
Shane Sorenson Owner/Director  
Jill Sorenson Facilities Admin. (Shane's wife, originally from Idaho.)
Layne Bagley Admissions Director Here is an e-mail exchange between Bagley & HEAL (at the time, HEAL believed Layne was female, Layne is male):
From: HEAL []
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 6:17 PM
To: Layne Bagley
Subject: RE: Sorensons Ranch

Dear Ms. Bagley:
Shaun was working for you following his incarceration and conviction, not prior to his conviction.  We've never claimed that he worked for you before or at the time of his arrest.  This is something in your own mind.  And, according to the Dept. of Licensing and Reta D. Oram, you had your license suspended in 2001 specifically for having hired Shaun Sorenson to work at your facility as a plumber/janitor since Utah state law disallows any facility that serves youth and/or children to employ ex-convicts.  Our site states that you won the appeal and that Shaun no longer works for you.  
Unfortunately, we have to revisit all of our records regarding Sorenson which will take some time to verify the allegations of sexual misconduct.  So, until we locate the article which states these facts, we have edited the posting regarding Sorenson as needed.  When we are able to quote date, time, newspaper, and author of the story, we will edit the critique to include all information relevant to your program.  I know what I read and will diligently work to expose any and all misconduct at your facility and any facility that defrauds parents and abuses children.  
The National Institute of Health, Dr. Margaret Singer, and thousands of mental health professionals, attorneys, and survivors of abuse at facilities such as yours are working around the clock to insure the safety of children in this country and around the world.  It's unfortunate that due to lack of oversight your facility and others like it are allowed to operate without proper inspections or any insurance of child safety.     
We usually offer programs an opportunity to be removed from our list.  But, since we have reports of abuse at your facility from parents and survivors and since you've had problems with suspensions at your facility, we are not in a position at this time to do this.  Your use of escorts and sensory deprivation to change behavior is enough for us to show that you torture children through terror and POW-style behavior modification/mind control.  You use the same methods that the High Security Units in prisons use and Amnesty International as well as the UN Treaty on Human Rights define the methods you use as torture. 
Again, godspeed to HR 1738 and the Parental Consent Act!
Angela S.
HEAL Coordinator
-----Original Message-----
From: Layne Bagley []
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 7:01 AM
Subject: Re: Sorensons Ranch

I repeat, get your facts straight. Shaun was not accused of anything to do with sex nor was he working for Sorensons at the time he got the drug charges but this sex thing only exist's in your mind there is no such thing the only acusations made is from you. Next we never had our license pulled you are a poor historian and tend to want to make up your own facts that is what is scary.
Layne Bagley
Sorensons Ranch School
----- Original Message -----
From: HEAL
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 6:51 PM
Subject: RE: Sorensons Ranch

Dear Layne,
I have the news article in my records that states that Shaun was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.  If those charges were dropped or reduced to just a drug offense it does not change the facts of the accusation or his questionable nature and he should not have been allowed access to minors directly or indirectly.  In addition, if he is no longer working there that's great.  But, why was he ever allowed to work there after sexual misconduct?  Some of the kids you "treat" are likely sexual abuse victims.  Why would you allow someone even accused of sexual misconduct to have any employment at your facility?  The fact that you use hired kidnappers (escorts) to transport children to your program when multiple states have outlawed this practice as being horribly traumatizing and in violation of Federal Law highlights how very removed from ethical responsibility your program is.  We will post that Shaun is a former employee, per your request.  And, we will rephrase the statements about sexual misconduct to include the words "accused of" and include that the charges were plead down to or reduced to drug offense only.
You can manipulate parents and sell your program with the best salesmanship in the world.  The National Institute of Health has found that residential treatment and wilderness programs are harmful to children and their families.  It is very difficult to get action out of the Utah government when it comes to revoking licenses of facilities such as yours.  The fact that they did, suggests that there is something so obviously wrong going on at your facility that they were unable to avoid taking that action.  To allow Provo Canyon School and WWASPS to retain their business and operations licenses even after the lawsuits and repeated reports of abuse and to pull yours suggests much indeed.  Usually, Utah won't pull a license unless there is a proven wrongful death or severe sexual misconduct .  They ignore all claims of physical and psychological torture.  So, did your program kill someone or was there a rape?  I guess you won't admit to either as your are the one uttering half-truths and lies.  When HR 1738 passes and regulations are put in place you will change or you will no longer exist as an institution.  Godspeed to that day.
Angela S.
HEAL Coordinator
-----Original Message-----
From: Layne Bagley []
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 8:23 AM
Subject: Sorensons Ranch

I appreciate what you try to do for others in allowing a sort of checks and balance and a way for consumers to find the good and bad about companies. However I do feel that you should have some obligation to make sure that the info posted on your site is true otherwise what is the value? On your website it states that the son of our owner works here and is a sexual predator. He had a drug charge many years ago not sexual charges there is a huge difference and if people cant change then I don't know why there would be a need for schools like us. This gentleman does not work for us any more and even when he did he just did maintenance and did not work with the students. Like I said before would it have mattered if he did? I would very much appreciate it if you took the false information about us off of your site. The other comment about us is understandably from a disgruntled parent and is full of half truths and lies.
Layne Balgey
Sorensons Ranch School




Phyllis Bagley Intake Coordinator  
David Neslen Therapist Graduate of BYU.  Neslen has worked at other unnamed residential programs since 2002.
Joy Morris Therapist Morris has worked at Sorenson's since 2003.
Jody Brand Group Facilitator Graduate of the fraudulent University of Phoenix programs.  This "degree" is what qualifies Jody to do her job?!
Sisi Taufatofua Group Facilitator Sisi has worked for Sorenson’s Ranch on and off for nearly 18 years.
Ron Cazier Principal  
Steve Church Principal Steve’s father, George Church, was one of three original founders of the SUWS adolescent wilderness program.  SUWS is owned by Aspen Education Group and is associated with the abusive methods of the now closed CEDU programs.   Church no longer appears to work for this program.
Ross Franks Registrar  
Ole Lindgren Horse Program  
Steve and Signe Nielsen Teacher Steve Nielsen has been at Sorenson's Ranch since 1994.  Signe is Steve's wife.  They reportedly had students living with them at their home at times.
Sam Lindgren Teacher  
Daryl Essey Teacher Essey has been with Sorenson's since 2005.  Essey no longer appears to work for this program.
James V. Bagley Teacher Bagley has been with Sorenson's since 1989.
Ben Gasser Teacher Gasser has been with Sorenson's since 2003.  Gasser no longer appears to work for this program.
Bradley Shaw Teacher Shaw has been with Sorenson's since 2005.
Tina Somers Teacher Somers has been with Sorenson's since 2003.
Rhonda Robinson Teacher Rhonda has been teaching Family and Consumer Science at Sorenson’s Ranch School for 15 years.(2009)
Anne Converse Torgerson Teacher  
Octavia Horton Supervisor  
Jeff Hatch Medical Supervisor Jeff is the school nurse and has been in our employ for over 25 years.
Ryan Norman Staff (former?) Reported by survivor of Sorenson's by phone on September 15th, 2010.  Norman no longer appears to work for this program.
Clay Bagley Staff Reported by survivor of Sorenson's by phone on September 15th, 2010.  Clay no longer appears to work for this program.
Norm & Etta Hart Staff Norm and Etta are married.
Mindy Talbot Billing  
Wendi Sorenson Staff  
Survivor and Family Reports Link:
Sorenson's Ranch School uses the same Positive Control Systems' methods as Eagle Ranch Academy and WWASPS.
HEAL is in the process of reviewing the enrollment materials for Sorenson's Ranch School.
Survivor Statement: Anonymous [verified] (1996-1997)
Ex-instructor at Utah ranch for troubled teens pleads ‘no contest’ to charges of sex with minor By Liesl Nielsen,  |  Posted Aug 2nd, 2017 @ 9:07pm 17   KOOSHAREM, Sevier County — A former instructor at a Utah ranch for troubled teens plead “no contest” to multiple counts of molestation at a court in California, according to the Visalia Times-Delta. Utah resident Wendi Sorenson, 37, was charged with multiple counts of having sex with a minor in December 2015. She recently plead “no contest” to at least three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 18, four counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, contact with a minor for sexual offense, meeting with a minor for lewd purposes and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. Prosecutors believe the abuse began in June 2015 while Sorenson was an instructor at High Top Boys Ranch in Koosharem. The ranch for troubled youth was owned and operated by Sorenson and her husband, the Visalia Times reported. The school has since closed. Sorenson’s husband reported the abuse to child protective services when he noticed Sorenson was “very close” to one of the boys at the school, the Visalia Times reported. The teenager was then removed from the school and went back to California. A week before Thanksgiving 2015, Sorenson flew from Utah to California. Authorities in Utah alerted police in California and warned them that Sorenson had left the state, likely to visit the same boy. When detectives contacted the boy, he told police that he and Sorenson had sex at two hotels in California for several days, the Visalia Times reported. Authorities also uncovered more than 12,000 sexually explicit text messages between Sorenson and the boy. The messages also placed Sorenson at the hotels. After Sorenson plead no contest, the judge allowed her to return to Utah while she waits to be sentenced. The maximum sentence Sorenson may serve in prison is 13 years and eight months, according to the Visalia Times. Sorenson will be sentenced Sept. 7 and will likely be placed into custody at that time, according to the Visalia Times.   Source:

 *(Sorenson's Ranch School, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)

 Last Updated: August 3rd, 2017

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