The former owner and director of the Midwest Academy in Keokuk, 39-year-old Ben Trane, has been found guilty by a jury of sexual exploitation of a student by a counselor, child endangerment, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
The final charge was a lesser charge the jury was allowed to consider if it did not think Trane was guilty of the more serious charge of third-degree sexual abuse.
The academy was a boarding school for troubled teens until it closed in early 2016. The state began investigating in December of 2015 after a teen girl said she had been sexually assaulted by Trane.
The jury began deliberating Thursday after listening to more than three hours of closing arguments. The prosecutor said Trane had all of the power at the boarding school and used it to do what he wanted. Trane’s defense said the girl who accused him of sexual abuse was mad at Trane and made the accusations to get him in trouble.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.