Will Missouri doctor facing child sex charges get out of jail soon? It’s complicated

·5 min read

A southwest Missouri judge has set bond for a doctor who for years has treated students at Agape Boarding School and was charged last month with felony child sex crimes.

Greene County Circuit Judge Ronald Carrier set the bond for David Smock at $250,000 late Tuesday afternoon and also ordered him to wear a GPS monitoring device if he is released.

But it was unclear Wednesday morning whether Smock would get out of jail.

Smock, who has been held without bond in the Greene County Jail in Springfield since Jan. 5, also faces charges in Cedar County. A Dec. 21 warrant for his arrest in that county also ordered that he be held without bond. A hearing was held earlier this month in Cedar County Circuit Court on Smock’s motion to either release him on his own recognizance or set bond, but that judge hasn’t issued a ruling yet.

Further complicating the matter is that the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail where Smock would be kept, has numerous conflicts of interest regarding the doctor. His son and daughter-in-law both work there, according to recent county records, and one of the sheriff’s deputies is married to the Agape founder’s daughter. That deputy, Robert Graves, is also the father of Smock’s daughter-in-law.

“I won’t keep him in the jail here,” Cedar County Sheriff James “Jimbob” McCrary told The Star on Dec. 30. “Any time the family member of some of my staff is charged with something, I always send them somewhere else. I have to pay for that, but that’s just the way it is.”

Child sex crime allegations regarding Smock were made to the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office in early September 2020, according to an incident report obtained by The Star.

At that time, the report was referred to the Department of Social Services, McCrary said. One of the two officers involved in handling the report was Graves.

“There was a conflict with us being involved basically, so I pretty much let them deal with it,” McCrary said. “I’ve known Dr. Smock for a while. Some of my staff use him as a doctor. And he’s got relatives that work for me. You already know all that. … It’s a small town, everybody knows him.”

David Earl Smock booking photo from the Boone County Jail in Harrison, Arkansas.
David Earl Smock booking photo from the Boone County Jail in Harrison, Arkansas.

Smock, 57, has been charged with three counts of child sex crimes in Greene County and eight counts in Cedar County. He pleaded not guilty last week to the Greene County charges, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 3.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office and the Vernon County Prosecuting Attorney are serving as special prosecutors for the Cedar County case.

Carrier, the Greene County judge, issued Tuesday’s bond ruling after a hearing last week.

Prosecutors in both the Greene and Cedar County cases have argued that Smock should remain in custody without bond pending trial, saying he was a danger to the community and a flight risk, evading arrest for days. They noted that U.S. Marshals eventually took him into custody in a Harrison, Arkansas, “rent by the hour motel room” just a 1½-hour drive from Smock’s 11-bedroom home near Jerico Springs.

But Smock’s attorneys countered that he never ran from authorities. Smock was on a Christmas visit to see his son in Louisiana, they said, and only learned about the Greene County charges after he was already out of state. They said Smock had planned to turn himself in to Cedar County authorities the morning after he was arrested.

Prosecutors, however, said Smock was intentionally avoiding arrest.

“... Additionally, Defendant has access to a private plane and has a son who is a pilot,” they said in a court motion. “Defendant has a valid passport. Defendant successfully evaded law enforcement authorities for 8 days. Defendant has clearly demonstrated that he is a serious flight risk.”

Springfield attorney Stacie Calhoun Bilyeu said Smock was trustworthy and should be granted bond or even released.

“The Defendant is a resident of the State of Missouri and asserts that Defendant will make no attempt to flee and that he will comply with all bond conditions set forth by this Court,” Bilyeu wrote in a motion.

She also said Smock is a full-time medical doctor, has no prior criminal convictions, no history of mental health problems and “does have the means to pay his bond.”

The charges against Smock in Greene and Cedar counties are all felonies. Smock is charged in Greene County Circuit Court with one count of second-degree statutory sodomy regarding a child; third-degree molestation of a child younger than 14 years of age; and enticement or attempted enticement of a child younger than 15.

Prosecutors allege that Smock groomed the young male Agape student he is accused of sodomizing and molesting, buying him a cellphone, taking his family on trips and throwing him birthday parties. They also allege that Smock sexually abused the boy — who was then 13 — in a Springfield rental home the doctor owned.

In Cedar County, Smock is charged with four counts of statutory sodomy or attempted sodomy — deviate sexual intercourse — involving a child younger than 14; and one count of second-degree statutory sodomy or attempted sodomy. He also is charged with one count each of sexual misconduct involving a child younger than 15, fourth-degree molestation of a child younger than 17 and first-degree stalking.

Bilyeu said if released on bond, Smock would stay in Stockton with friend Jonathan Petrie and his wife. Jonathan Petrie’s Facebook page says he is clinic manager at the Stockton Lake Walk-In Clinic, which Smock operates.

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