Former Texas Southern Univ. Law School Dean Charged for Sex Crimes with a Minor
Edward Rene, A former assistant dean of admissions at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, has been charged with inducing a minor to engage in sexual acts after facing theft allegations back in 2020 for a scheme that involved stealing money from the university.
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Rene’s legal problems started in 2020 when he was charged with theft due to an alleged scholarship scam. In December 2022, Rene was charged with inducing a minor to engage in sexual acts.
The new charges were filed in the Harris County District Court, and evidence, including photos, was cited in the charging documents.
According to the district attorney’s office, the minor was not connected to Texas Southern University.
TSU confirmed with ABC13 that Rene was an employee at the university during the new allegations.
“Edward Rene is a former TSU employee who was immediately reported to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office after learning of the financial allegations against him. TSU representatives were not made aware of any other illegal conduct,” a spokesperson said in a statement to ABC13.
Those financial allegations refer to 2020 when the former assistant dean of admissions was charged with theft. Edward Rene was charged with theft by a public servant for allegedly devising a scholarship scheme that netted him $74,000. But now Rene has more significant problems.
Edward Rene, who was charged in 2020 with theft involving an alleged scholarship scam at Texas Southern University, was recently charged with additional crimes involving allegations that he induced a minor to engage in sexual acts. https://t.co/5iAd7jFfku #legaleducation @sfw70II pic.twitter.com/KooKVKjoIQ
— ABA Journal (@ABAJournal) February 3, 2023
Regarding the theft charges, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received complaints from two law students who claimed Rene allegedly offered them tuition scholarships and received additional funds over the amounts. The students reported that Rene directed them to reimburse the overage amounts in the form of checks, cashier’s checks, or money orders payable to him.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg stated,
Rene “masterminded a variety of schemes to steal money from the school by diverting student scholarship funds to himself.” “He abused his power for personal profit, and his actions hurt the school and the students,” “It was the TSU Board of Regents who brought us the case following an internal investigation, and we applaud their swift actions to bring this thief to justice.”
Indeed, TSU has had a few issues with corruption at the school and has acted swiftly to correct them.
Rene acted as the school’s chief enrollment officer and was employed as the Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s Assistant Dean of Admissions since 1999.
In November, the university stated that an employee had been fired over improprieties in the admissions process but did not specify who it was or what the allegations were. The school’s findings of its internal audit were turned over to local authorities.
In February, TSU President Dr. Austin Lane was fired after the university’s board of regents voted 6-1 in favor of his termination.
In a statement after Lane’s termination, the board said Lane “failed to appropriately act on or inform the Board about allegations of fraud committed by the former law school official, including evidence of a student payment for admission to the school.”
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Rene surrendered at court Friday morning. He was given a $10,000 bond, which he posted and was released.
The court ordered that he will not have contact with the minor and can’t supervise, or participate, in any activity or program where there are minors.
Rene’s next court appearance is set for March 2023.
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