CRIME

Idaho College Official Accused Of Offering Scholarships For Sex

02/19/2015 10:25 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

By Laura Zuckerman

Feb 19 (Reuters) - The financial aid director for a community college in northern Idaho, who was accused of offering scholarships to students in exchange for sex, is no longer employed at the school, its president said on Thursday.

Idaho police on Wednesday arrested Joseph Bekken, 36, the head of financial aid for North Idaho College, on suspicion of procurement of prostitution and other charges in connection with ads he posted on Craigslist offering "grant money" for sexual favors from students who attended the two-year college in Coeur d'Alene, authorities said.

The FBI earlier this month told the school's resource officer about the ads and sought his aid in an investigation that ultimately determined Bekken was the person behind the sex solicitations, Coeur d'Alene Police Department Sgt. Brandon McCormick said in a written statement.

It was not clear whether Bekken, who remains jailed on charges that also include bribery and using a computer in a scheme to defraud, was fired or resigned from the college of 6,000 students that specializes in professional, technical and general education programs.

"The individual charged in this case is no longer an employee of the college and North Idaho College has been cooperating fully with law enforcement from the very beginning of the investigation," school president Joe Dunlap said in a statement released Thursday.

North Idaho College is otherwise known for offering courses by satellite to rural communities in the state. (Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Idaho; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Ken Wills)

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