Principal accused of soliciting undercover cop posing as 15-year-old girl

Updated: May 24, 10:31 a.m. | Posted: May 19, 12:11 a.m.

A Twin Cities middle school principal is jailed on charges of soliciting prostitution after authorities say he exchanged messages with an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old girl.

Hennepin County prosecutors say Mohamed Ali Selim, 38, of Lakeville, responded Tuesday afternoon to an online ad.

Over the phone, a police officer pretending to be a teenager said “I'm 15, but it's not a problem for me if you're fine with it.”

In the recorded call, Selim allegedly responded “OK, that's fine,” and the officer gave him an address in St. Louis Park where police working as part of a multi-jurisdictional sting operation arrested him.

Selim is principal of Eagle Ridge Middle School in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District and was previously principal of William Byrne Elementary.

In a statement, the district said Selim "will not be at work at this time," adding that “there’s no indication that District 191 students are involved.”

“This is a hard day for the school and for the district,” district superintendent Theresa Battle said in the statement. “It will be difficult for all of us to process this.”

Associate Principal Bill Heim will serve as acting principal.

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