Missouri's Schmitt Slams Local Handling Of School Abuse Case

STOCKTON, Mo. (AP) — The attorney general in a letter to the governor wrote that a southwestern Missouri prosecutor is ignoring his advice and going easy on a Christian boarding school accused of abuse.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the Thursday letter asked Gov. Mike Parson to to take him off the case over disagreements with the local prosecutor, The Kansas City Star reported.

Former students accused Agape Boarding School of assault and other abuse, and several sued the school. Agape officials haven't responded to repeated requests from The Star for comment.

Schmitt wrote that he recommended 65 charges against 22 current and former school staffers. Cedar County Prosecutor Ty Gaither has said he plans to go after seven staffers with 14 charges.

“In deciding not to charge a number of other offenses, Mr. Gaither has expressly rejected the assistance and expertise of the Attorney General’s office, and he has indicated that he does not intend to seek justice for all of the thirty-six children who were allegedly victimized by twenty-two members of the Agape Boarding School staff," Schmitt wrote.

Gauthier told The Star that he wasn't aware of Schmitt's request to be removed from the case but he's sure the Attorney General's Office will be of "invaluable assistance."