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Boarding School Director Suspect in Sex Abuse Case

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Midwest Academy(Courtesy: Midwest Academy)

Midwest Academy(Courtesy: Midwest Academy)

KEOKUK, Iowa — New information has been released regarding a sex abuse investigation at the Midwest Academy campus in southeast Iowa.

Court records released Thursday were obtained by the Des Moines Register. The records say 37-year-old Ben Trane, the director and owner of Midwest Academy, is a suspect in the sex abuse investigation involving a 17-year-old student who attended the boarding school. The academy is a therapeutic boarding school that assists students from all over the country and world.

On Jan. 28-29, the FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation executed search warrants at locations in Keokuk and Montrose. According to the documents, electronic items such as computers and cellphones were seized in addition to “trace evidence involving bodily fluids for DNA and related forensic examination” and credit cards “to determine if those cards were used in connection with the purchase of items for female students.”

In a motion to seal the search warrant, Lee County Attorney Michael Short wrote that charges are under review pending the completion of the investigation by the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Possible state-level charges include sexual abuse, child pornography, child endangerment, fraudulent practices and ongoing criminal conduct.

The school closed last month after the accusations were brought to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Click here for more from the Des Moines Register.