WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Prosecution, Defense Seek Delay in Trane Sentencing

Jan 22, 2018

The prosecution and defense are now asking the court to set a new date for the sentencing of Ben Trane. Trane was convicted last month of child endangerment, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist during his time as owner and operator of Midwest Academy.

Trane is scheduled to be sentenced on March 12 in the south Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk. He faces up to nine years in prison.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Denise Timmins has informed the court that she will be out of the state that day. She handled the prosecution of Trane.

Trane filed a similar request through his new attorney: Alfredo Parrish of Des Moines. Parrish replaced Lisa Schaefer of Burlington, who represented Trane during his criminal trial.

Soon after appearing on Trane’s behalf, Parrish filed a motion to delay the sentencing.

“A continuance of the sentencing hearing is necessary as Counsel must obtain copies of Mr. Trane’s file, exhibits and the trial transcript to review and prepare for sentencing,” wrote Parrish.

Parrish is also requesting a copy of the trial transcript at no charge due to Trane’s limited financial resources.

Trane owned and operated Midwest Academy for about 15 years. It was a boarding school for troubled teenagers located just outside Keokuk. Local, state, and federal law enforcement raided the school in early 2016 and removed all of the students amid allegations of abuse.

Trane's criminal trial lasted nine days. He remains out on bond until his sentencing.