Court: Boarding school owner can question accuser's history

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says the founder of a boarding school for troubled youth will get another chance to potentially discredit a student whose testimony helped convict him of abuse charges.

The court on Friday ordered a hearing to determine whether the student previously made false allegations of sexual abuse against her adoptive or foster parents. If a judge determines that false allegations were made, the court says 41-year-old Ben Trane should get a new trial on three sexual abuse and child endangerment charges.

Trane is the former owner of Midwest Academy in Keokuk, a boarding school that was shut down by authorities in 2016.

A jury convicted Trane last year of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, sexual exploitation by a counselor and child endangerment. The convictions stemmed from allegations that Trane sexually assaulted the 17-year-old female student and kept two male students in confinement for extended periods of time.

Trane has been free on bond during his appeal.