SAVAGE, MN – The principal of Eagle Ridge Middle School at ISD 191 was arrested Tuesday in St. Louis Park on suspicion of sexual exploitation of minors, according to a news release from the St. Louis Park Police Department. .

Mohamed Ali Selim, 38, was arrested along with three other men during an undercover operation, police said. He was charged Thursday with agreeing to hire someone he believed to be between the ages of 13 and 16 for prostitution.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.

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Independent School District 191 confirmed that Selim is principal of Eagle Ridge Middle and released a statement.

“Following these upsetting allegations, the district’s immediate and primary concern is the welfare of our students,” district officials said. “Based on the information the District has seen thus far, there is no indication that any students from District 191 are involved. The District will cooperate with law enforcement during their investigation and take appropriate action, in accordance with district policies and procedures.”

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Three of the men were arrested and later released, but due to Selim’s position of authority working with children, he remains in custody at the Hennepin County Jail, authorities said.

“It’s a tough day for the school and for the district,” Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle said. “It will be difficult for all of us to process this. At the same time, we will continue our commitment to providing a high-quality education and experience for students at the end of the school year.”

Prosecutors say undercover agents placed prostitution ads online. Selim messaged an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl, saying he would “love to come see her”, court officials said.

Selim initially said ‘it wasn’t going to work out’ because the girl was 15, but then said he would still come see her so they could ‘spend some time together’, the sources said. prosecutors.

Selim arrived at the Saint Louis Park address and told the undercover officer he was there, according to court officials. He was later arrested and made comments that his life and career were over, prosecutors said.

Officers found more than $200 in cash on Selim’s person and found the messages and calls between him and the undercover officer on Selim’s phone, prosecutors say.

According to ISD 191, associate director Bill Heim will act as interim director, and counselors will be available for students and staff.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Eagle Ridge Middle School is located in Burnsville. It is located in Sauvage.

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