IOWA CITY, Iowa – Investigators say the former owner of an Iowa boarding school used his position to coerce one teenager into a sexual relationship and others to undress for his arousal.
Former Midwest Academy owner Benjamin Trane is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, sexual exploitation by a counselor and child endangerment.
He turned himself in Thursday after a 19-month investigation into abuse allegations at the private, for-profit boarding school Trane operated in Keokuk. The school, which had about 100 students from mostly well-off families, closed in January 2016.
Investigators allege that Trane coerced one student to engage in sex acts in order to advance in the program and be allowed to contact relatives. Trane also allegedly had others undress for "body image therapy" sessions he led, and kept students in isolation for extended periods.