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MW Academy owner Ben Trane gets 9 year sentence

MW Academy owner Ben Trane gets 9 year sentence

6 years, 1 month ago by Scott Hardy

Sentence handed down after Lee County judge denies motion for new trial

The former owner of a Keokuk private school, convicted on child endangerment and other charges, has been sentenced to 9 years in prison, after earlier having his motion for a new trial overruled by a Lee County judge.

Benjamin Trane, the former owner of Midwest Academy, was sentenced Thursday afternoon in South Lee County court. He'll also be subject to 10 years supervised release and have to register as a sex offender. Trane was convicted in December on counts of Child Exploitation, Child Endangerment and a misdemeanor count of Assault with Intent to commit Sexual Abuse. KHQA-TV's Lynsey Whitaker reports that the sentencing came after a ruling on the new trial by Judge Mark Kruse against Trane, which took place after a nearly day-long hearing. Trane's lawyer, Alfredo Parrish, had filed a motion for a new trial, and during the hearing, he brought up that Trane didn't have access at the December trial to a 5 terabyte hard drive with info about Midwest Academy students, as well as cell phone records of the victim or witnesses. Trane testified that he considered the hard drive "vital" to his defense. Parrish questioned Trane's former defense attorney Lisa Schaefer, and called her inexperienced.

After the verdict, Trane said he planned to appeal.

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