CLEVELAND, TN. (THECOUNT) — Mark Avery Pickel, a former Athens City Middle School assistant principal, was arrested after police say he attempted to arrange sex with an infant.
Pickel, 51, used the KIK app to arrange to meet with an investigator posing as a new mother and her infant for sex.
Pickelm of Delano, TN, is charged with transportation of child pornography in interstate commerce and interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor.
According to federal court documents, Pickel corresponded with an undercover investigator who posed as a new mother with an infant on Kik. Authorities allege he outlined his desires towards infants to the investigator using a Kik screen name associated with Pickel, reports WVLT.
The undercover agent stated Pickel uploaded multiple explicit images of children to a private chat room and uploaded images of himself in a chat with the investigator.
Pickel also allegedly requested photos of the fictitious infant.
When Pickel traveled to a hotel to meet their “mother and infant” he was intercepted by officers who took him into custody.
Records show Pickel worked at Polk, Monroe and McMinn County schools over the course of his career.
Geo quick facts: Athens is a city in McMinn County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of McMinn County and the principal city of the Athens Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Chattanooga-Cleveland-Athens Combined Statistical Area – Wikipedia.