Principal accused of trying to hire 15-year-old prostitute

Eagle Ridge Middle School principal Mohamed Ali Selim, 38, of Lakeville, was arrested during a police sting operation.

SAVAGE, Minn. — Hennepin County prosecutors say a Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Public Schools high school principal tried to hire a 15-year-old prostitute, but the person he thought was a teenage girl was actually an undercover policeman.

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

Selim was arrested Tuesday during a multi-jurisdictional police operation that took place in Saint-Louis Park. “Officers placed advertisements on several websites offering prostitution services,” according to the criminal complaint.

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

According to the criminal complaint, the officer texted, “I’m 15, but that’s okay with me if it’s ok with you.” Selim reportedly laughed and texted “Ok, that’s fine” but then asked “So you’re 15?”

Prosecutors say Selim said it was too young and it wasn’t going to work, but then Selim apparently changed his mind and agreed to meet her at St. Louis Park.

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

Officers arrested Selim upon arrival and described him as “distraught” and saying “his life/career is over”.

Three other men were arrested during Tuesday’s undercover 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 news release from the St. Louis Park Police Department.

“This is a tough day for the school and for the district,” ISD 191 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Battle said 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 at the end of the school year.”

The school district statement further indicates that counselors will be available for students and staff.

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

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

The Savage City Police Department has been notified of a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement operation that took place in St. Louis Park, MN on 05-17-2022. Details have been 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 not aware of any complaints or allegations regarding Selim in the town of Savage. The Savage Police Department was not involved in the law enforcement operation and is not actively assisting in the subsequent investigation of the Selim-related allegations. If you, or someone in your care and custody, believe you have been the victim of a crime associated with Selim that occurred in the town 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 office from the Hennepin County District Attorney (612-348-5550).

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