In an effort to prevent more children from coming to harm, the Missouri Attorney General’s office aims to go to trial against Agape Boarding School within a month, according to documents filed Friday.
The state has also requested that every child currently at the school undergo a forensic interview by trained professionals.
“The children at Agape have been forced to stay 37 days longer than they should around Agape staffers who have abused them or their fellow students in the past,” the motion read.
Agape Boarding School lawyer wants later trial, argues against forensic interviews
Documents filed in response by John Schultz, lawyer for Agape Boarding School, requested that the hearing to close the reform school take place as late as August 2023.
In a supplemental response to the state’s order, the defense said the week of Nov. 14 would be unsuitable since “administrative hearings concerning the findings against Agape employees” will be taking place at that time.
Representation for Agape Boarding School also argued that since there is no proven abuse, forensic interviews are unnecessary.
The AG’s office alleges prejudice, citing nine case delays and six times that the hearing was continued or canceled, as times when witnesses and the state have been “denied the opportunity to be heard.”
Cedar County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Pyle, in an Oct. 12 order, mandated that the parents of the children in the lawsuit be identified by the state and made parties or defendants in the case, and that Guardian Ad Litems be appointed on behalf of each child.
“We are pleased that the Court is taking the interests of the boys and their parents into account. We were surprised the Attorney General opposed this,” Schultz said in