Thomas Minar

Thomas Minar

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — Fired Franklin College President Thomas Minar will face a jury trial set for March 2022 in his ongoing legal battle against charges of child sex crimes.

Thursday was Minar’s first appearance since a status conference in March. While the Door County Justice Center is open to the public, Minar appeared on Zoom. A plea deal has been offered to Minar several times, and he has refused.

In March, Judge David L. Weber gave Minar’s lawyers and the state 120 days to file any motions and prepare for pretrial, which is the time the defense and state prepare evidence for the judge. No motions have been filed at this time.

There will be another status conference at 9 a.m. Sept. 13 to go over any motions and updates with the judge.

In January 2020, Franklin College announced in an email to students and faculty that Minar was fired by the Board of Trustees after his arrest. At the time, Minar was in Wisconsin taking care of his elderly mother, who passed away in December 2020.

Minar, 57, has been charged with 12 counts of possession of child pornography, using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and exposing a child to harmful narrations.

He was arrested in January 2020 by Sturgeon Bay police, who tracked him to a McDonald’s after conducting an undercover investigation on the dating app Grindr. Law enforcement alleges that chat records from Grindr show Minar planned to meet with a 15-year-old.

Minar was released from custody on a $7,500 bail bond posted by his husband, Frank Becker. He is not allowed to use any social media or have unmonitored interactions with minors while awaiting the results of the case.

Alexa Shrake is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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