5 more lawsuits filed against Missouri boarding school

NEVADA, Mo. (AP) – Five additional lawsuits have been filed accusing a southwestern Missouri boarding school of abusing students.

The lawsuits alleging physical and emotional abuse at Agape Boarding School were filed Wednesday in Vernon County. All told, 19 lawsuits have been filed against the boarding school since early 2021.

Agape’s doctor, David Smock, was charged in December with child sex crimes. He pleaded not guilty in March. Meanwhile, five employees were charged in September with abusing students. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has said he thinks many more workers should have been charged.

The latest lawsuits were filed by former students who attended Agape at various times between 2014 and this year. The lawsuits also name Agape Baptist Church, which oversees the boarding school.

The lawsuits seek unspecified amounts in damages.

Phone and email messages left Saturday with an attorney for Agape were not immediately returned.

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