David Earl Smock: Doctor charged with sodomizing minors at Agape Boarding School

Physician slapped with numerous charges linked to abuse at private school, arrest warrant issued but he's not yet in custody


                            David Earl Smock: Doctor charged with sodomizing minors at Agape Boarding School
David Earl Smock (Facebook)

STOCKTON, MISSOURI: A longtime physician of a private boarding school has been slapped with numerous charges on allegations of sodomy of minors, it was revealed in late December 2021. Court records show that David Earl Smock is wanted for assaulting children under 15 at the Agape Boarding School, a Christian private school in Greene County. At the time of reporting, he is not yet in police custody, and an arrest warrant has been issued in his name. 

The 57-year-old is currently facing charges of 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. The docket entry for the case mentions that he is to be held without bond when he is arrested. A warrant for his arrest was issued on December 23, but as of December 24, he is not yet in custody.

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The charges appear to be rather out of character for the physician, who is reportedly well-liked in the community. It also puts the school under increasing pressure, coming months after five staffers were charged in September with assaulting students.

A view of the Agape Ranch, part of the Agape Boarding School in Missouri (Agape Boarding School/Facebook)

 

Who is David Earl Smock?

The 57-year-old is a well-known physician in the Ozarks, and currently runs the Stockton Lake Walk-in Clinic in Cedar County. He is also Agape's school doctor, a role he has been in for "multiple years", along with volunteering at the Springfield ministry for the homeless. Notably, one of Smock's sons is married to the granddaughter of the school's founder, who also happens to be the daughter of Cedar County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Graves.

Smock also has medical licenses in Arizona and California, but there is no disciplinary action against him in those states The Kansas City Star reported. The physician is also a veteran of the US Navy, and in November was honored during a service at Agape Baptist Church. According to The Star, many in the community have only had good things to say about Smock, with one resident saying, "from the moment I met him he makes you feel welcomed."

Reportedly, Smock owns an 11-bedroom mansion in Cedar County, which is now home to the Legacy Academy Adventures school run by Brent Jackson, a former staff leader at Agape. The school is reportedly unlicensed, and it is unclear what its current status is. Smock's clinic has since been closed, and its social media accounts were taken down. 

Accusations against Smock

It's not immediately clear how the case against Smock was built, with the probable cause statement unavailable. The Star reported that 16 men came forward to accuse the school of abuse for years, describing being berated, physically abused, and handed punishments like not being given food and water. Many times, the students would be punched and kicked in a padded room by staff, they allege.

The students would then be taken to Smock's clinic for treatment, with their injuries being attributed to sports. It's unclear if Smock or his staff knew about the abuse, and if not then how he became embroiled in the scandal. Multiple former students have come out over the past several months to recount the abuse, often through social media. The accusations have snowballed into an arrest warrant against Smock, but it remains unclear what the sodomy charges are for. More details are expected in the coming days, once Smock is in custody.