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Metro principal charged with trying to solicit sex from 15-year-old

Eagle Ridge Middle School Principal Mohamed Ali Selim, 38, of Lakeville, was arrested during an undercover police sting operation.

SAVAGE, Minn. — Hennepin County prosecutors say a middle school principal from the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools attempted to solicit sex from a 15-year-old, but the person he thought was a teenage girl was actually an undercover police officer.

Eagle Ridge Middle School Principal Mohamed Ali Selim, 38, of Lakeville, faces a felony charge of one count of prostitution involving a minor.

Selim was arrested Tuesday during a multi-jurisdiction police operation that took place in St. Louis Park. "Officers placed ads on multiple websites offering prostitution services," according to the criminal complaint. 

Prosecutors say Selim began texting with the undercover officer posing as the 15-year-old girl. 

According to the criminal complaint, the officer texted "I'm 15, but it's not a problem for me if you're fine with it." Selim reportedly laughed and texted "Ok, that's fine," but then asked, "So, you're 15?" 

Prosecutors say Selim said that was too young and it was not going to work, but then Selim apparently changed his mind and agreed to meet her in St. Louis Park.

According to the criminal complaint, Selim said her age made him really nervous, but he would still come see her so they could "spend some time together." 

Officers arrested Selim when he arrived and described Selim as "distraught" and saying "his life/career was over."

Three other men were arrested during Tuesday's sting operation. They were booked and released. Selim remains in the Hennepin County Jail "due to his position of authority working with children," according to a St. Louis Park Police Department's news release. 

"This is a hard day for the school and for the district," said ISD 191 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle in a news release. "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 as we finish the school year."

The release from the school district further stated that counselors will be available for students and staff.

Associate Principal Bill Heim will serve as acting principal at Eagle Ridge Middle School.

The Savage Police Department released this statement confirming Selim's arrest:

The City of Savage Police Department was made aware of a multi-jurisdiction law enforcement operation that took place in in St. Louis Park, MN on 05-17- 2022. Details were shared with the Savage Police Department that Mohamed Ali Selim, principal of Eagle Ridge Middle School, was arrested in connection with the operation. At this time, the Savage Police Department is unaware of any complaints or allegations related to Selim occurring within the City of Savage. The Savage Police Department was not involved in the law enforcement operation and is not actively assisting in the subsequent investigation into allegations related to Selim. If you, or someone in your care and custody believe they were a victim of a crime associated with Selim occurring within the City of Savage, please contact the Savage Police Department (952-882-2600). The Savage Police Department encourages anyone with additional information or questions to contact the St. Louis Park Police Department (952-924-2600), Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (651-793-7000), or the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (612-348-5550).

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