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Texas teen with autism sues Missouri boarding school

August 14, 2021 GMT

STOCKTON, Mo. (AP) — A Christian boarding school in southwest Missouri has been sued three times this month over allegations that students were abused.

The latest of the lawsuits was filed Tuesday in Cedar County Circuit Court on behalf of a Texas teen with autism and bipolar disorder. It accuses Agape Baptist Church, which operates Agape Boarding School, of negligence, infliction of emotional distress and battery by staff and other students, The Kansas City Star reports.

The family’s attorney, Grant Davis, said the teen, who is identified in the suit only by his initials, “suffered physical and mental abuse including being beaten and, in effect, tortured.”

Agape officials have not responded to repeated requests from The Star for comment.

Agape — one of four unlicensed boarding schools that has operated in Cedar County — is currently under investigation by state and local authorities for allegations of abuse. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has recommended that charges be filed, but the decision is up to Cedar County prosecuting attorney Ty Gaither. He told The Star last week that he is still reviewing the case.

Two other former students filed lawsuits against Agape on Aug. 6, accusing the boarding school of negligence that resulted in abuse. And two other lawsuits were filed in February.