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A doctor for Agape Boarding School accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student

 Cedar County Courthouse is shown in March 2022.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Cedar County Courthouse is shown in March 2022.

A Missouri doctor charged late last year with more than a dozen felonies on suspicion of child sex abuse now faces a civil lawsuit from a 14-year-old boy.

In recent years, David Smock served as physician for the Agape Boarding School, an unlicensed Christian institution located in Cedar County.

For two years, multiple people linked to Agape Boarding School have faced criticism, criminal charges and lawsuits over allegations of severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children.

On Monday, the teenage plaintiff and his mother filed a civil lawsuit in Cedar County, naming both Smock and the school as defendants. Court records do not disclose the plaintiff’s name.

The lawsuit alleges that in 2018 and 2019, the 14-year-old boy was sexually abused at Smock’s Cedar County compound.

The teenage plaintiff’s lawyers also argue that Smock “exposed the genitals of another student and made Plaintiff physically watch this conduct for defendant Smock’s sexual gratification.”

These events led to “medically significant” psychological injuries that require treatment, the boy’s attorneys argued in court documents filed Monday.

For each of the five counts of alleged abuse outlined in the lawsuit, the 14-year-old's lawyers asked the court to award the boy at least $25,000 in “actual damages.”

Agape Boarding School is accused of negligence for placing Smock “in a position of authority and access” to children around the time the alleged sexual misconduct occurred. The boy’s lawyers, who include Springfield City Councilman Craig Hosmer, argued that Agape “had a duty to protect students” from “inappropriate sexual conduct and contact.”

KSMU was not immediately able to reach attorneys for Smock and Agape Boarding School for comment on Tuesday, nor was the news outlet able to reach an attorney for the 14-year-old plaintiff.

The case is assigned to 28th Circuit Judge David R. Munton, but no court dates were set as of Tuesday afternoon.

Cases in progress

Smock, the doctor accused of child sex abuse, already faces numerous felony criminal charges filed in Missouri courts beginning in late 2021, as previously reported by the Kansas City Star and the Springfield News-Leader.

Cases were filed in Cedar County and Greene County. Charges include two counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child, two counts of enticement of a child, eight counts related to statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy, and one count of stalking.

In the criminal cases, Smock faces a motion hearing in Cedar County on Sept. 6, and a pre-trial conference in Greene County set for Nov. 29.

Five staffers at Agape Boarding School were also charged last year with low-level felonies related to allegations of abuse at the school. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt objected to those charges, advocating instead for more serious charges against a wider group of defendants. The staffers’ cases are currently working their way through the court system.

Agape Boarding School also faces at least 20 other civil lawsuits over allegations of child abuse, Missouri online court records show.

Copyright 2022 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Gregory Holman
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