The president of a liberal arts college in Indiana has been fired after his arrest on suspicion of sex crimes, school officials announced.
Thomas J. Minar was terminated by Franklin College on Monday after his Jan. 6 arrest in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on preliminary charges of use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement and exposing a child to harmful materials, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Formal charges have not yet been filed, but prosecutors in Door County expect to file a criminal complaint in coming days.
Minar, a 56-year-old Chicago native, had been the private college’s president since 2015 after working at American University in Washington, DC. He announced last summer that he planned to step down from his post in June, the Star reported.
A search to replace Minar is now underway, college officials said in a statement.
“The safety of our campus community – especially our students – is always our first priority,” the college’s Board of Trustees chair, Jim Due, said. “We are deeply shocked and gravely concerned by the reported behavior of Dr. Minar that led to his arrest in Wisconsin, and we will continue to cooperate fully with authorities.”
Minar had served as the first openly gay president at the 1,000-student Franklin College, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Minar appeared in court on Jan. 7 and was released after posting bond. He was also told by a judge not to have direct contact with minors unless supervised and to stay off social media, WAVE reported.
Some students at the school said they were shocked to learn of Minar’s arrest and subsequent firing.
“He always did this thing, during our winter term, where it would be tea with the president and stuff, so we were in his house talking with him,” Franklin student Tyler Placke told WTHR. “Everyone’s reaction is like, ‘Holy cow!’ I didn’t think this would happen, you know? He’s always such a super nice guy and always real active on campus.”
Minar is due back in court on Jan. 17.
With Post wires
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