A college president was arrested January 6 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on suspicion of sex crimes and subsequently fired from his position.
Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar, 56, was terminated as president once police told the school he faced charges of “use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement and exposing a child to harmful materials/narrations,” the Indianapolis Star reported.
The college, located in Franklin, Indiana, released a statement following Minar’s arrest and said it was cooperating with Wisconsin law enforcement during the investigation, according to WTHR.
The statement continued:
The safety of Franklin students is always our highest priority. To that end, the College has launched an investigation concerning Dr. Minar’s conduct while President. While there are systems already in place, additional resources will be engaged to continue to provide our students a safe, confidential means to report incidents of inappropriate behavior.
In 2015, the historically Baptist college hired Minar as its first openly gay president. He said the decision showed the community was “committed to being inclusive and diverse,” according to the College Fix.
“Diversity strengthens community and strengthens decision-making. Quickly, gay and lesbian folk are finding more and more environments in which our sexual orientation doesn’t have to label us,” Minar stated at the time.
In June, the college announced that he would step down at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and launched a search for a new president.
When student Tyler Placke heard about Minar’s recent arrest, he was shocked and said the former president was always approachable and active on campus.
“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. Everyone’s reaction is like, ‘Holy cow!’ I didn’t think this would happen, you know,” he commented.
Following his arrest, Minar was released on bond and ordered not to have any direct contact with minors unless supervised. He was also prohibited from using social media.