Boarding school owner released on bond ahead of abuse trial
KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) -- The owner of a boarding school for teenagers has been released from an Iowa jail while he awaits trial on sex and child abuse charges.
Former Midwest Academy director Benjamin Trane left the Lee County jail Thursday after a judge reduced his $500,000-bond to $50,000.
Trane had been jailed since surrendering last month to face 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.
Judge Michael Schilling called the $500,000-bond excessive, saying Trane had no criminal record and was unlikely to flee.
Trane will face restrictions on his travel, a curfew and is to have no unsupervised contact with minors.
Find more stories related to Midwest Academy and the investigation here.