Six former students sue Midwest Academy; see full lawsuit

Six former students sue Midwest Academy; see full lawsuit (file photo)

Six former Midwest Academy students and their parents sued the Keokuk, Iowa facility on Tuesday.

In legal documents obtained by KHQA, Midwest is being sued for maintaining an "illegal environment" and a "culture of punishment, confinement, coercion and physical confrontation and violence," which includes sexual abuse and harassment.

The lawsuit states that Midwest "seeks to break the will of the vulnerable children entrsusted to its care through a harsh and inflexible indoctrination system".

Midwest claims to be a specialty school for troubled youth, but the lawsuit claims it is not a school.

A raid, led by multiple law enforcement and other agencies, took place at the Academy on January 28, 2016.

All children were removed.

The suit describes the former student's living conditions including "confinement in 6' by 8' filthy isolation boxes on a starvation diet."

The six students describe a litany of abuse and mistreatment including beatings, ignored pleas for medical attention, forced silence, inadequate and untrained staff, sex between students and staff, and sex among students.

On August 6, 2015, Midwest's owner, Ben Trane, was found responsible by Iowa Child Protective Services as a perpetrator for child abuse for failure to supervise children, resulting in sexual abuse.

One of the six students who filed Tuesday's suit was the same student who filed the above suit.

The day following the Child Protective Services interview with the victim plaintiff in this case, Trane took him out to lunch, offered to buy him books, and also told him, "I can make sure you get things."

The suit claims this was an effort by Trane to interfere with the FBI and State of Iowa Investigation.

Several other claims were in the lawsuit such as fraud, negligent misrepresentation, false imprisonment, battery, assault, educational malpractice, emotional distress, negligent hiring and supervising, and more.

To read the entire lawsuit, view the PDF file below:

*If the embedded file is not showing up below, click here or copy and paste this link:

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