An Eagle couple accused of abusing two teenage girls living at a ranch for homeless and at-risk youth have been ordered to participate in a program for changing behavior as they await trial.
Michael P. Magill, 31, and his wife, Jennifer N. Magill, 32, appeared Tuesday in Ada County Magistrate Court and waived their preliminary hearing. They will appear next on Oct. 2 for arraignment in Ada County District Court.
Magistrate Terry McDaniel ordered the Magills, who are being held in the Ada County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail apiece, to take part in the jail’s Active Behavioral Change program.
The four-week program seeks to decrease recidivism among adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. The program addresses ego and social, moral and positive behavioral growth. Classes are held for two hours each day Monday through Friday and the program lasts four weeks. Inmates pay $200 to take part in the program.
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The Magills are accused of abusing two girls, ages 14 and 17, at the Christian Children’s Ranch. They are each charged with six counts, including sexual abuse, sexual battery, soliciting a minor under 16 to participate in a sex act and inducing, causing or permitting a child under 16 to witness a sex act.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation over the summer after being contacted by ranch officials, who learned of the alleged abuse from a family member of one of the victims. The Magills were arrested on Aug. 14.
The couple, who worked and lived at the ranch for 11 months, admitted to having illegal sexual contact with the teens, the sheriff’s office said at the time of their arrests.
Two biological children of the Magills, who also lived in the home, were taken into protective custody by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The 80-acre ranch has provided a Christ-centered program for children up to 17 since 1946. The ranch is on Duck Alley Road off Linder Road, next to the Boise River and west of Eagle Island State Park. It has four homes for short-term shelter care and longer stays. Each home houses up to 10 children with a couple who serve as houseparents.