Couple who worked at church ranch in Eagle charged with sex abuse of children

A married couple who worked as “house parents” at the Christian Children’s Church Ranch in Eagle are now in jail after admitting to having illegal sexual contact with two teen girls who were under their care.

Michael P. Magill, 30, and Jennifer Nicole Magill, 32, are charged with sexual battery of a child 16-to-17 years of age and sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating if there are any additional victims connected to Michael and Jennifer Magill, who have also worked as youth group leaders and camp counselors outside of their work at the Christian Children’s Church Ranch.

The couple worked at the ranch for the last 11 months as “house parents.” People who work that job act as parental figures to as many as 10 at-risk children who live in one of the four homes at the ranch.

The two victims in this case are 14 and 17 years old and were under the direct care of the Magills when the abuse occurred earlier this summer.

Detectives began their investigation Thursday after being contacted by officials from the church ranch, who found out about the abuse from a family member of one of the victims.

Detectives interviewed the victims, searched the Magill’s ranch home, and collected evidence there before arresting the couple by Friday night.

The Magill’s two biological children, who lived at the same church ranch home with the victims, were declared to be in imminent danger and placed in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The officials at the church ranch contacted the ASCO shortly after finding out about the abuse and have fully cooperated with the investigation.

Michael and Jennifer Magill (who is also know by her middle name Nicole) are each being held in the Ada County Jail on $500,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 31.

Anyone who has any information about the case should call Detective Shellie Strolberg at 577-3788.

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