Missouri boarding school doctor says not guilty to 3 charges

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A doctor charged with 11 felony sex abuse crimes involving children at a Missouri boarding school has pleaded not guilty to three of the charges.

Dr. David Smock, a longtime physician at Agape Boarding School, entered the plea Thursday in Greene County Court. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 3, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

In Greene County, Smock is accused of abusing an Agape student in 2018 at a rental property he owned in Springfield.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed eight more charges against Smock in Cedar County, where the Agape Boarding School is located.

On Thursday, Smock's attorneys argued that Smock should be released from prison on bond while awaiting trial. Greene County Circuit Judge Ron Carrier took the request under advisement.

Smock was arrested in December in Harrison, Arkansas. Prosecutors said at the time they considered him a fugitive from justice. His attorneys said Smock was on his way back to Missouri to turn himself in when he was arrested.

In Greene County, Smock is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy; third-degree child molestation of a child younger than 14; and enticement or attempted enticement of a child younger than 15.