Investigation Of Abuse At Agape Boarding School
Several former students have filed lawsuits against Agape Boarding School alleging that school authorities enabled physical, emotional, and even sex abuse while under supervision in Stockton, Missouri. Reports from Springfield News-Leader have shared that there are multiple lawsuits filed against Agape Boarding School and are currently under FBI investigation and the State Department of Social Services.
FBI has acquired statements from at least two former students regarding the accusation and believes that if evidence shows that the child abuse happened outside of the boundaries of the state, the case will go to the federal courts. Two of the previous students currently reside in California and Michigan.
The History Of Agape Boarding School – Sexual Abuse & Physical Abuse
The school began in the early 1990s as a group home run by Agape Baptist Church in Washington State. Child Welfare inspectors reprimanded the facility for overcrowding and inadequate cleanliness in the mid-1990s. Due to a lack of state laws, the school relocated to a ranch in Missouri a year after obtaining the citation. Around 150 boys between the ages of 12 and 17 were enrolled at the Christian private boarding school. According to their website, it is an “effective and affordable program for teenage boys with behavioral, motivational or academic struggles.”
Former Students File Sexual Abuse Lawsuits From Multiple States
Former students of Agape from Alabama, Texas, and Michigan have filed two civil lawsuits against the Boarding School for multiple charges that include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Agape Baptist Church owns and operates the private boarding school for boys in Stockton, MO. The allegations of abuse were filed at the Cedar County Circuit Court and are being represented by Missouri Attorneys at Monsees & Mayer P.C., Abuse Guardians partners.
R.B. vs. Agape Baptist Church, Inc., et al:
A former Agape student and resident of Michigan filed a complaint on August 6, 2021, describing his allegations against the Agape staff while he was in the care of the boarding school from Spring 2007 to Fall 2012. Along with the allegations mentioned in the suit, the plaintiff also required special medical care under a physician which was not provided by any of the Agape staff members for the duration of his the students’ stay at the facility.
J.M. vs. Agape Baptist Church Inc., et al:
On August 7, 2021, another claim was filed by an Alabama resident, sharing the details of his experience at Agape Boarding School from March 2012 to March 2013, allegations including emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse from numerous staffers at the Christian reform school in Stockton.
J.P. vs. Agape Baptist Church, Inc., et al:
The most recent suit filed was on September 2, 2021, where a Texas resident reported the multiple incidents he experienced that include sexual and physical abuse from August 2019 until the Spring of ’21 by a staff member and other former students.
Update 4/12/2022: Nine more lawsuits were filed against the Boarding School. Read more here: https://abuseguardian.legalexaminer.com/legal/more-abuse-uncovered-as-nine-additional-lawsuits-filed-against-agape-boarding-school/
Court Order To Close Agape
Update: 09/09/2022: Missouri Attorney General alongside the Department of Social Services (DSS) has asked a Cedar County judge to close Agape Boarding School until the next hearing has passed. Former student, Robert Bucklin who is actively suing the school, has stated that “hopefully, Agape gets shut down…it’s been a long time coming.” Prompting agreement that the action to close the school, is the best decision for the residents of Missouri.
To read more about the current investigation of abuse at the school and how the Missouri law is applied, visit our page on boarding school lawsuits.
Seeking Justice For Survivors Of Abuse From The Private Christian Boarding School
Justice Guardians have partnered with Abuse Guardians to provide us with some legal commentary on the ongoing investigation of brutal allegations of abuse. Managing attorney Ryan Frazier has years of experience fighting for the rights of physically, sexually, and emotionally abused children. Here are a series of questions given by Laurence Banville to Mr. Frazier, who was kind enough to provide us with his legal insight on the allegations of abuse at Agape.
Laurence Banville: Is there still time for more survivors to come forward with allegations against the boarding school?
Mr. Frazier: There are statutes of limitations for each state depending on where the alleged abuse and neglect took place, so it’s best to get in contact with a law firm in your area to understand the regulations for your state.
Laurence Banville: What legal rights do victims of child abuse and neglect have with the current allegations being brought against the Christian reform school?
Mr. Frazier: Legally, schools are responsible for ensuring the safety of kids on campus. Because the children are under supervision 24 hours a day, boarding institutions have a higher level of obligation. When negligence occurs, and the safety of the students is put at risk, the students who have suffered trauma such as physical or sexual abuse, have a right to bring justice against the responsible person or organization that had a duty to protect them and failed.
Free Consultations For Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Survivors are encouraged to step forward and seek the justice they deserved if they were a victim of abuse at a boarding school. Contacting an experienced attorney is the first step to beginning your journey to healing. If you need to report child abuse or neglect, contact your local authorities followed by a local lawyer who can help you navigate the process.
Learn more about the Agape Boarding School Abuse Lawsuits here.
Visit our page for information and resources available to sexual abuse survivors in Missouri: https://abuseguardian.com/sexual-assault-lawyer/missouri/sex-trauma-therapist-mo
Abuse Guardian for Missouri and Kansas