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Trane attorney steps down, cites conflicts

Trane attorney steps down, cites conflicts

2 months, 1 week ago by Scott Hardy

Curtis Dial sued Ben Trane in two other cases

An attorney, appointed to defend the owner of Midwest Academy in Keokuk against abuse charges, says he can't take the case because he's sued him in two other cases.

Curtis Dial, who was appointed last week to represent former Midwest Academy director Ben Trane, says he's withdrawing due to his conflict, which was unknown to the judge who appointed him. Court records show that attorney Lisa Schaefer was appointed Tuesday to represent Trane, who's charged with sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child endangerment. Prosecutors allege Trane used his position at the school to pursue sexual relationships with teenage students while keeping others in solitary confinement. He's pleaded not guilty, and will have a hearing Monday.

Dial represented former employee Cheyenne Jerred, who won a $748,000 judgment earlier this year against Trane's corporation after alleging she was fired for reporting that a student had been sexually assaulted. Dial also briefly represented students suing Trane over alleged abuse.

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