KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new federal lawsuit seeks to link the death of a 29-year-old to past abuse suffered at the now-closed Agape Boarding School in Stockton, Missouri.
Court documents accuse school officials of causing the trauma, which led to future coping behavior including drug use, which contributed to the death.
Jason Britt was originally from Idaho and was sent to Agape Boarding School in 2009 after having some trouble in high school, according to court documents.
Now his mother is pushing ahead with this lawsuit, blaming the path leading to his death on his experience there, court documents say.
Representatives of SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) detailed Britt’s story during a press conference Monday. They said he experienced physical, sexual and mental abuse at the Christian-branded Agape Boarding School.
The boarding school closed earlier this year when enrollment plummeted as investigations intensified.
“When he got home from Agape, he became a bodybuilder and a weightlifter because he wanted to be physically strong enough to never ever be sexually assaulted again,” Volunteer Missouri Director of SNAP David Clohessy said.
But that life included drugs such as steroids and cocaine. The lawsuit attempts to link the behavior leading to his death in February 2022 to the boarding school.
“Steroids and drugs were the mechanism of Jason’s death. But the cause was the trauma that an innocent boy felt day after day after day at this school,” Clohessy said.
A list of past school officials are named as defendants in this case. The school has faced state investigations going back to 2020, including from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office under then-AG Eric Schmitt.