Thurs. 5/16, 1pm KC MO presser-New abuse suit filed v. Christian boarding school

Unprecedented abuse suit filed vs. Christian boarding school

Case charges ‘faith-based’ institution ‘brainwashed’ vulnerable teen

It’s filed under new federal law that’s “a big help to sex trafficking victims

Prominent survivor who sued her parents to speak; they face felony charges

SNAP: “But time is running out for MO lawmakers to safeguard children

Group wants more & tougher regulation of controversial ‘faith-based’ facilities

Legislative session ends Friday; No progress yet on protecting kids,’ they say


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, child abuse victims will

---disclose and praise a new, barely-noticed federal law that will help abuse and trafficking victims,  

---announce the filing of an unusual civil child sex abuse suit against a Christian boarding school,

---blast Missouri’s attorney general for “doing virtually nothing” to protect boarding school kids and

---beg lawmakers to do so in the waning hours of the legislative session.


Thursday May 16 at 1:00 p.m.


On the sidewalk just south of the Charles E. Whittaker US Federal Courthouse, 400 E. 9th St., corner of Oak, (in Ilus Davis Park) in Kansas City, MO


Two-three abuse victims including

--A nationally-known survivor, activist and whistleblower who sued her parents for abusing kids at a Christian reform school who has been profiled in national media including Dateline, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Dr. Oz and an Amazon Prime documentary and numerous media outlets), and

--a St. Louis man who for 30 years headed SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests


1) A largely unknown new federal law that helps kids has taken effect and was recently upheld in court. The “Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act” removes the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, enabling more victims to expose and punish their perpetrators and their employers through civil lawsuits.

2) Under this new provision, a survivor of “horrific abuse” at the Agape Boarding School near Stockton is filing a civil suit today. Agape closed last year after having “been under intense scrutiny over abuse allegations,” civil lawsuits and state and local investigations, according to the AP.

The suit compares Agape to "a concentration camp or torture colony cloaked in the guise of religion." Five staffers, the suit says, "engaged in violence and sexual assault of children" while officials there "actively concealed, aided and abetted the abuse," and "defrauded” the victim, falsely claiming the school was "an accredited, warm, family-style school.”

One staffer manipulated the boy into being his ‘enforcer,’ ordering him to inflict harsh punishment on other kids, says the suit. After the victim realized he had been "brainwashed" and had done wrong, the teen went to great lengths to find and apologize to those he’d harmed, according to the suit.

The AP reports that “Agape’s trouble began in 2020 when former students came forward with abuse allegations. One former student said he was raped at Agape and called ‘seizure boy’ because of his epilepsy. Others said they suffered permanent injuries from being disciplined or forced to work long hours of manual labor.”

In 2021, Agape’s longtime doctor was charged with child sex crimes. Five other workers were charged with lower-level abuse counts. Then-Attorney General Eric Schmitt contended that 22 employees should have been charged.

Individual defendants in today’s suit include Bryan Clemenson (the school’s director), Julio Sandoval (the school’s dean), Scott Dumar (a board member) and staffers Brent Jackson and Jon Wilke. Also named are Robert Graves (an Agape staffer and local deputy sheriff) and Cedar County Sheriff James ‘Jim Bob’ McCrary.

3) Amanda Householder, a prominent survivor, will speak for the first time in Kansas City. In a highly unusual move, she sued her parents for severely abusing purportedly ‘troubled kids’ at a Christian reform school called the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in southwest Missouri. (Her parents face a criminal trial this fall on 100+ felony charges.) Amanda now lives in California.

KC MO attorney Rebecca Randles (816 510 2704, [email protected]) represents Amanda and the male victim who is suing today.

4) The last day for this session of the legislature is Friday, May 17. Victims will beg lawmakers to extend or eliminate Missouri’s ‘archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly’ statute of limitations and provide more oversight of “these controversial, secretive, private and unaccountable’ facilities that purportedly ‘care for’ extraordinarily vulnerable boys and girls.”


David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, [email protected], Amanda Householder 661 409 7873 

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant