Every college student knows the difficulty of trying to acquire good financial aid. But most students wouldn’t go as far as a financial aid officer at North Idaho College was asking. An administrator of the school was caught giving out scholarship money to students who agreed to have sex with him.
According to KDVR, 36-year-old Joseph M. Bekken was arrested last week after the FBI alerted local police that the school official was having “casual encounters” with students in exchange for free financial aid. The most disturbing part is Bekken was completely open about the exchange, having made a post on Craigslist about his offer.
“I have some extra grant money to allocate. Just looking for some potential fun on the side.”
Authorities messaged Bekken on the website in January, pretending to be a North Idaho College student named Sheryl Roberts, and inquired about what he was offering as “fun.” He responded, “I’m completely open. Sex, oral, etc…watching.” After the exchange with police, Bekken deposited $587 into the fake student’s account and was arrested on the spot while attempting to meet her in person.
Bekken was fired the same day he was arrested by police in Coeur d’Alene, and soon after locked up at Kootenai County Jail. The administrator is looking at five felony charges, which includes misusing public funds and soliciting prostitution. He faced a judge on February 19.
According to the Spokesman Review, Joseph Bekken had been handing out financial aid in exchange for sex for several semesters, or had at least been soliciting the offer on Craigslist for that long. No students have come forward confirming whether or not Bekken successfully provided money for sexual favors.
However, in an interview with the police, Bekken did admit to having casual sexual encounters with other people (usually men) while he worked at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. And, several semesters ago, Bekken got the idea to offer financial aid money from the pockets of the university in exchange for sex.
“Hello, I have a proposition for NIC students,” the post said. “E-mail me and we can discuss.”
To get the financial aid funds to pay Roberts, Bekken approached a subordinate at North Idaho College with the task of finding extra money. Police have reported that this person is not being accused of any wrongdoing in the matter.
For more on financial aid, learn why one student was forced to pay back her financial aid.
[Image via Spokesman]