Missouri boarding school doctor accused of child sex crimes

The doctor for a private Christian boarding school that has been the focus of an abuse investigation in Missouri has been charged with child sex crimes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The doctor for a private Christian boarding school that has been the focus of an abuse investigation in Missouri was charged with child sex crimes.

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for David Earl Smock, 57, the longtime physician for Agape Boarding School, the Kansas City Star reported. Smock is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy, third-degree child molestation of a child less than 14 years of age and enticement or attempted enticement of a child less than 15 years of age, court records show.

Smock was not in custody as of Friday, according to the jail website in Greene County, where the case was filed. The probable cause statement was not immediately available Friday because the court was closed for the holiday.

Agape remains under scrutiny after five staffers were charged in September with assaulting students. One of the defendants is Smock’s son-in-law.

Smock, who runs a walk-in clinic in Cedar County and volunteers at a Springfield ministry for the homeless, has other ties to the school. One of his sons is married to the late Agape founder’s granddaughter. And he is featured prominently on Agape’s website, supporting the school’s model and encouraging parents to send their troubled boys there. Smock has said on the site that he works with the school to wean boys off medications for behavioral issues.

Smock also owns an 11-bedroom mansion that a former Agape staff leader uses to operate another Christian boarding school, called Legacy Academy Adventures.

No attorney is listed for Smock in online court records. And he couldn’t be reached at his clinic, which was closed on Friday.