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Minnesota middle school principal caught in sting trying to hire 15-year-old for sex, police say

Mohamed Ali Selim "will not be at work at this time,” said a statement from the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

A Minnesota middle school principal was arrested on suspicion of seeking prostitution from a minor during a sting Tuesday, according to police and the district he worked for.

The St. Louis Park Police Department conducted the sting with other agencies as "part of a coordinated statewide response aimed at ending human trafficking and exploitation," the city said in a statement.

Four men were arrested, including Mohamed Ali Selim, 38.

He was "held in Hennepin County Jail pending charges, due to his position of authority working with children," the statement said. He was charged Thursday with felony prostitution. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 confirmed in a statement that Selim was the principal of Eagle Ridge Middle School, in the Minneapolis suburb of Savage.

"Mr. Selim will not be at work at this time," the statement said.

Superintendent Theresa Battle said: “This is a hard day for the school and for the district. It will be difficult for all of us to process this."

The district's statement said there is no indication that any of its students were involved.

A criminal complaint said the sting involved ads offering prostitution services that were placed on various websites.

Selim started a conversation with an undercover officer and agreed to meet her and pay her for sex, the complaint said. When the officer said she was 15, Selim still agreed to meet with her.

He was arrested at the meeting spot. Selim "was distraught and made comments that his life/career was over," the complaint said.

Selim has been replaced by the school's associate principal, the district said.