Agape Boarding School Faculty Facing Additional Charges
According to the Springfield News-Leader a fifth faculty member has been arrested for sexual abuse while employed at the Agape Boarding School located at 12998 E 1400 Rd, Stockton, MO 65785.
New Accusations of Sexual Abuse
The 57-year-old Agape Boarding School physician, Dr. David E. Smock was apprehended on December 28, 2021, in the state of Arkansas. A warrant was issued for Stock’s arrest the prior week due to new accusations of sexual abuse in both Cedar and Greene counties in Missouri. Smock was the fifth faculty member to be arrested during the abuse investigation on the Agape Boarding School.
Smock has been charged with eight new sex crime felonies on top of his previous three, some of these include:
- four counts of statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy with deviate sexual intercourse involving a person under 14 years old
- sexual misconduct involving a child under the age of 15
- second-degree statutory sodomy
- fourth-degree child molestation
- first-degree stalking
The Daily Beast reported that the school physician is being accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of the minor students. Details of the relationship included giving the underage boy presents and taking him on trips. The investigation even stated that the boy lived with Smock in his home, allowing him to abuse the minor sexually.
Hiding Incidents of Abuse
Several of the former students at Agape allege that Smock provided medical treatment at his home for the boys. Often this treatment was for injuries sustained during sexual abuse at the hand of other faculty members. Stock is said to have knowingly covered up the abuse rather than report it to the authorities, as legally mandated.
Update February 28, 2022:
The Missouri boarding school physician has been jailed in Greene County Jail since January 5 for multiple felony counts of child sex crimes. Since his arrest, Smock is now facing four additional charges, bringing his total number of felony charges to 15. The newest charges include accusations by the first and the second victim. These charges include a count of felony enticement of a child and first-degree statutory sodomy. He has been accused of making a boy under 15 years old watch as he touched the penis of another minor while naked. The second victim claimed that in the summer of 2019, he was sodomized by Smock. One of the prosecutors for Greene County told the judge that since the first victim came forward, “more young boys have come forward and made similar claims.”
Legal Recourse for Boarding School Abuse Victims
Attorney Reed Martens of Monsees & Mayer P.C. is representing many victims accusing the Agape Boarding School of allowing abuse. Below, Martens discusses the legal options available to private boarding school sexual abuse victims, including when a school can be held liable.
“Several former students have come forward accusing the boarding school’s faculty of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The facility encourages its students to remain in long-term residential care for longer than 12 months in order to get the best outcome. This extended time allows abusers to groom vulnerable victims.”
“Residential care facilities, such as the Agape Boarding School, are legally required to provide their residents a reasonably safe environment to reside and learn. Such security measures include security monitoring cameras and extensive background checks on all employees. Failure to implement an adequate safety plan increases foreseeable risks, such as sexual abuse.”
“However, when school employees are accused of sexually abusing the children, the facility’s security measures should be investigated. If reports of misconduct went ignored, the school can be deemed negligent and held liable in a civil lawsuit. Furthermore, if reports were covered up by staff or hidden from the families of the students, victims would have grounds for a lawsuit. The Agape Boarding School is facing multiple charges of abusive conduct by faculty with minors in their care.”
If you or a loved one was a victim of abuse while enrolled at Agape Boarding School or another residential care facility, contact an experienced boarding school abuse attorney today.
Mr. Banville is a personal injury attorney who has experience in handling auto accidents, work injuries, medical malpractice, dog bites, slip and falls, and representing survivors and victims of sexual abuse. Mr. Banville is affiliated with law firms in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, D.C., and Maryland. Justice Guardians