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News & Views - July, 2000 Issue #71


(June 7, 2000) Steve Gage and Karen Lee-Gage, Founders of Royal Haven, Sisters, Oregon, a residential home for at-risk girls from throughout the country, were arrested Friday afternoon on a warrant for their arrest issued after deliberations of a Grand Jury. Karen Lee-Gage was arrested at their home in Sisters, and Steve Gage turned himself in to the authorities shortly thereafter at the county jail after receiving a phone call from Karen. 

The arrests were based on 45 or 52 felony counts based on allegations from 7, 8, 10, or 11 ex-residents (depending on which newspaper you read), including several counts each of rape, sexual abuse, and criminal mistreatment. 

At the arraignment Monday afternoon, Karen Lee-Gage’s bail was reduced to $25,000 from $50,000, which was posted and she was released. Steve Gage’s bail remained at $1 million and he remains in custody. 

Steve Gage is scheduled to enter a plea on the charges on June 26th, and Karen Lee-Gage is scheduled to enter a plea on July 10th. 

The Gages suddenly closed Royal Haven last December. The reason they gave was to facilitate their adopting a two-year-old that the state was concerned about being in an environment consisting of at-risk girls. Shortly afterward, the first allegations against Steve Gage surfaced, the child was removed from the home, and Detective Tom Kipp launched the investigation which resulted in the indictments against the Gages. The investigation consisted of contacting perhaps a majority of the parents who had ever placed their children at Royal Haven. The Gage’s two young children have been in the care of two adult graduates of the program that are trying to help out, along with other friends. 

Copyright © 2000, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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