The Latest: Boarding school director guilty of abuse charges
Dec. 22, 2017
KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the trial of an Iowa boarding school director charged with abusing students (all times local):
A southeast Iowa jury has found a former boarding school director guilty of abusing students.
WGEM-TV reports that on Friday morning jurors found Benjamin Trane guilty of intent to commit sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child endangerment. The jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon.
Trane was the owner and director of Midwest Academy in Keokuk.
The school was closed in January 2016 after being raided by federal, state and local officials. About 100 students were sent home or to other schools.
Earlier in the trial, Trane had at times tearfully rejected charges he sexually and physically abused children at the school.
A jury is scheduled to resume deliberations Friday on the sexual abuse and other charges against the former director of a southeast Iowa boarding school.
The Hawk Eye reports that Benjamin Trane's attorney said during closing arguments Thursday the accusations against him were baseless, coming from a troubled teenager who was angry with Trane for punishing her for violating rules at his Midwest Academy in Keokuk.
Prosecutor Denise Timmins said although there's no forensic evidence to confirm the girl's reports of sexual abuse, there's a vast amount of corroborating testimony from other people.
The jury deliberated for about an hour Thursday afternoon before recessing.
Midwest Academy was closed in January 2016 after a raid by federal, state and local officials. About 100 students were sent home or to other schools.
Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com