Conversation emerges following arrest of former president Thomas Minar
Messages allegedly detail contact with officer posing as a 15-year-old
By Taylor Wooten
The state of Wisconsin filed a criminal complaint against former Franklin College President Thomas Minar for counts of child enticement, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, and exposing a child to harmful material.
Officer Brandon Shew of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department was part of an Internet Crimes Against Children Investigation and utilized a Grindr profile that listed him as 19-years-old with no photos.
Minar, 56, was using the profile name “Top4yngr4fun” and claimed to be 53 years old with a biography that read in part, “Enjoy the company of younger men.”
Conversations between Minar and the undercover police officer on January 6 revealed that the boy claimed to be 15 years old. Minar used sexual language and disregarded the minor’s age saying, “I definitely like mature young men.”
According to the criminal complaint report, the undercover officer claimed he did not mean to match with the 56-year-old, saying, “I’m too young,” to which Minar responded, “You’re not too young for me :).”
According to the report, while in the back of the officer's squad car, Minar admitted that he knew the person he would be meeting was underage, but claimed he wanted to be his friend and mentor. He stated that he is a “distinguished person” that works in higher education and that he was meeting with the boy in order to provide a young gay youth “non-sexual affirmations and mentorship and role models” and this was probably a “misguided way to provide an opportunity.”
When the officer questioned Minar about his sexually explicit messages with the 15-year-old, he responded, “Yes, I’m 56 years old. Yes I’m attracted to young males.”
Minar told police this interaction was a “fantasy chat” and that it was unlikely that officers would find child pornography on his phone, but if any was found, “it would be from pornography sites he cannot control.”
He admitted to communicating with minors in the past but denied ever having sexual encounters with them. He went on to state, “I’ve been with 18-year-olds.”
Minar was released from custody on a $7,500 bond paid by his husband, Frank Becker.
If convicted, Minar faces multiple Felony charges. Exposing a child to harmful material is a Class I Felony, garnering a sentence of up to 3 ½ years. Child enticement, a class D Felony, could carry a sentence of up to 25 years, and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, a Class C Felony, carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. He could also face thousands of dollars in fines.
Minar is set to appear in court on Jan. 27 and will be represented by attorney Brett Reetz.