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Civil lawsuit alleging child abuse at Missouri Christian boarding school gets trial date

Cedar County Courthouse with the flags of the United States and Missouri.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Cedar County Courthouse is shown in March 2022.

Agape Boarding School in Cedar County has been at the center of many lawsuits over allegations of child abuse.

Update, March 7, 1:30 p.m.: The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that 16 former Agape Boarding School students who sued the Cedar County Christian school over allegations of child abuse have settled their lawsuits for undisclosed amounts of money.

Former student Joshua Bradney, who says he was subjected to severe phsyical, sexual and emotional abuse while attending Agape, provided KSMU with a written statement late Monday night.

"I'm glad I can finally move forward after being traumatized for years and can start healing," Bradney wrote in a text message. "The trauma will come and go but a big burden has been lifted. But also it's not the ending. I still will seek for others to be safe in our school system!!"

Bradney, who now lives in California, said addressing abuse should be "a priority to many" and characterized the settlements as "justice that was deserved."

Original report, published Feb. 16 at 11 a.m.:

A lawsuit filed by a 21-year-old former student at Agape Boarding School in Cedar County is set to go to trial before Judge David Munton on April 17, Missouri court records show.

The trial date was first reported by Rolling Stone magazine as former Agape student Josh Bradney alleges severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse by people linked to the fundamentalist Christian boarding school.

Bradney told KSMU in a text message Thursday that should his case be heard in open court, it would “show more and more people the abuse that happened at the school” and “could possibly bring healing and help to others.”

At least 18 civil lawsuits alleging child abuse have been filed against Agape. Last month, Agape announced it had permanently closed.

KSMU could not immediately reach former Agape director Bryan Clemensen or his attorney for comment.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.