Five additional lawsuits have been filed accusing a southwest Missouri boarding school of abusing students.

The lawsuits alleging physical and emotional abuse at the Agape boarding school were filed last week in Vernon County. A total of 19 lawsuits have been filed against the boarding school since the start of 2021.

Agape 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 said he thinks many more workers should have been charged.

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

The lawsuits seek unspecified amounts in damages.

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

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Missouri K-12

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