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Boone Township School Board Member Shawn Ensign resigns after child sex crime charges | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

HEBRON — After being caught on camera allegedly attempting to meet a 14-year-old girl for a sexual encounter, Boone Township School Board Member Shawn Ensign has resigned, according to a statement from the school board president.

Ensign was criminally charged with child solicitation, a sex crime, and arrested by the Goshen Police Department after a shocking video posted to Facebook Thursday by the organization Bikers Against Predators became public.

The video shows Ensign being confronted by a member of Bikers Against Predators, which seeks to expose child predators, in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot in Goshen — Ensign reportedly drove from Hebron, where he lives, to Goshen, about 90 miles away. In the video, the person behind the camera says he has evidence that Ensign, who was going by “Mike,” had been messaging what he believed to be a child online and was there planning to meet that child for a sexual encounter. 

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After initially denying the allegation, Ensign eventually admits that he connected with a girl online who told him she was 14 years old. It is eventually revealed the incident was a setup and the organization had called the police, who promptly arrived at the scene to arrest Ensign.

Boone Township School Board member caught allegedly trying to meet 14-year-old girl

On Monday, Boone Township School Board President John Nilsen released a statement addressing the situation.

“On behalf of the MSD (Metropolitan School District) of Boone Twp. School Board we are devastated at the event that took place on Thursday,” Nilsen wrote in a statement sent to district families and the news media on Monday. “As communicated in the previous letter from the School Corporation, we are following the guidance of our legal counsel, as well as the Indiana School Board Association (ISBA). It is incumbent upon us to follow legal procedures when addressing an elected seat, regardless how serious the allegations may be.”

He said the board has received Ensign’s resignation and forwarded it to the Porter County Elections and Voter Registration office. Once that department processes it, the board will begin the process of appointing a replacement, Nilsen said. He and his colleagues anticipate completing that by the board’s next meeting on June 13.

Video provided in partnership with The Times, JEDtv and WJOB. Sponsored by Strack & Van Til.

Superintendent Jeff Brooks also issued a similar statement on Friday.

“The MSD (Metropolitan School District) of Boone Township staff and school board are shocked and appalled with behavior a school board member displayed in a video that recently became public,” Brooks wrote. “While we all feel it necessary for the district to act immediately upon this information, there are legal considerations that dictate further action at this time.”

Brooks also said in his statement that the police investigation and legal aspects of the situation take precedence over the district’s decisions and that as an elected board member, state law dictates the procedures for Ensign’s removal and replacement. He said the district is consulting with police and monitoring the situation.

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