A former Athens City Middle School assistant principal is facing child sex crime charges.
Mark Avery Pickel faces transportation of child pornography in interstate commerce and interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor.
Court documents state Pickel corresponded with the undercover investigator who posed as a new mother with an infant on Kik. Authorities allege he outlined his sexual intentions towards infants to the investigator using a Kik screenname associated with Pickel. Pickel also allegedly requested photos of the fictitious infant. When Pickel traveled to a hotel to meet the “mother and infant” officers were waiting and arrested him.
Pickel previously worked in the Monroe and McMinn County school systems during his educational career.