Missouri GOP Speaker of the House Rob Vescovo wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore of the Western District of Missouri last week pleading with her to shut down the Agape Boarding School, saying it has been engaged in “organized crime against children," The Kansas City Star reports.
According to reports, the school has been covering up physical and even sexual abuse at the school.
"...as we have continued to seek justice in this case, it has become apparent that this problem is more far-reaching and contains more deeply-rooted corruption than we are able to address solely at the state level,” the speaker said in his letter. He then slammed Cedar County prosecuting attorney Ty Gaither as “one more in a long line of local officials who have either turned a blind eye to, or helped to cover up, the criminal actions of the staff at Agape.”
Vescovo also accused Cedar County officials, including Judge David Munton, of making closing the school seem like an "unobtainable goal."
"Two hearings have been held since then and the AG’s office has had testimony prepared and recent students ready to take the stand to describe the abuse that boys at the school have endured. Munton refused to let those students testify and delayed action at both hearings," the Star's report stated. "Workers with the state’s Children’s Division have been at the school since Sept. 8 monitoring the students, which Munton ordered and has continued."
Rep. Keri Ingle (D-Lee’s Summit) said that the fact that it hasn’t been shut down already “spits in the face of all laws that protect children.”
“I fully believe that DSS and the AG’s office have proven that there is a significant pattern of abuse ... that there is imminent harm to the children of this facility,” said Ingle. “I believe that both the AG’s Office and DSS are working within the law that we crafted to try to keep children safe. And now the judicial system — everyone from law enforcement, from the local sheriff’s office, to the local prosecutor, to now this judge — are the impediments to keeping these kids safe. … At this point, it’s, I believe, evidence of corruption. It’s a conspiracy now.”
In his letter, Vescovo said a minor was transported across state lines to Agape against his will and was transported by a “company that employs Cedar County Sheriff’s deputies."
“The ties that law enforcement officers have to the school have made it clear the best interests of these young people are not a priority while keeping this hub for children trafficking open for business clearly is," he wrote.
Read the full report over at The Kansas City Star.