UPDATE 8/23/23 — Rick Stark was found not guilty of assault in the fourth degree.

According to a press release, after hearing a day’s worth of evidence, a Texas County Jury deliberated for nine minutes before returning to a verdict of not guilty.

Original Story

TEXAS COUNTY, Mo. — A school official in Texas County has been charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault after allegedly attacking a 16-year-old student.

Rick Stark, 55, of Eunice, who is the superintendent of the Summersville School District in Texas County, was charged on Jan. 6, but the Summersville Police Department report was written on Dec. 12.

According to court documents, officers were called to the Summersville High School gymnasium by a school resource officer around 8 p.m. on Dec. 6. The school resource officer requested that the Summersville police officer watch security footage from a hallway in the school. The city officer reported that he observed Stark and a 16-year-old boy in an altercation.

In the video, Stark allegedly made contact with the child with both hands. The city officer spoke to the child, who told him that Stark had made “hurtful remarks” against his brother who passed away in a vehicle crash a month prior. The child said that Stark followed him and his friends into a bathroom and that Stark was “being mean” and making “hurtful and offensive” remarks, according to the police report.

Eventually, Stark shoved the child and hurt his chest, he said. The child almost fell because of the push. The child then walked out of the building to avoid any further assault.

The city officer contacted Stark the next day to read him his Miranda Rights, though he was not under arrest. Stark said he wanted to get an attorney, but gave the officer a written statement about the events.

Stark has an initial court appearance scheduled for 9 a.m. on Jan. 24. at the Texas County Justice Center.

This article will be updated as more information is released.