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Furlough denied for Ben Trane

Furlough denied for Ben Trane

6 days, 23 hours ago by Scott Hardy

Wanted to visit family in Utah before December trial

The owner of a now-closed Keokuk private school won't be able to leave Iowa before the start of his December 12th trial on sex and child abuse charges.

Former Midwest Academy director Benjamin Trane was in South Lee County court Monday, to ask for a 7-day furlough to visit his family in Utah. As part of his $50,000 bond, Trane can't travel outside the state, and is under a curfew. Court records show that the furlough was denied. Trane’s pleaded Not Guilty to charges of third-degree sexual abuse, sexual exploitation by a counselor and child endangerment. Investigators allege he had a sexual relationship with one student, had girls undress and discuss sex for his arousal, and kept some students in solitary confinement for days or weeks. Trane will be back in South Lee County Court for a pre-trial hearing November 27th.

He also faces a civil suit filed by former students, who allege they were physically abused while at the school. Last month, lawyers for the students asked the court for a default judgement, similar to the one received by Cheyenne Jerred, a former Midwest Academy employee who sued the school and Trane. She said she was fired a week after notifying the school and authorities about a sexual abuse claim by a student against Trane. That tip led to raids by local, state and Federal agencies in early January 2016, which resulted in the school's closure.

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