Police have arrested a man who both teaches and coaches at an alternative high school in Knoxville and charged him with the sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old female student at the school.
Justin Mikels, 25, has been on paid administrative leave since early October when the allegations first surfaced.
Mikels teaches at GOAL School in Knoxville, the alternative high school. Mikels is in his second year at GOAL, where he taught social studies and helped coach football and baseball.
Knoxville schools superintendent Randy Flack said he was contacted by the principal of GOAL in early October. "One of the students at GOAL had let her know that there could be some inappropriate contact between her and a teacher," Flack said. "This is something that took place outside of school off campus."
Police said the student was not physically harmed and is still attending school. Both the teacher and student cooperated with the investigation.
"This was a lengthy investigation and part of that's because we wanted to be thorough," said Knoxville police chief Dan Losada. "We want to investigate every possibility. Getting subpoenas for cell phone records and doing the interviews took some time."
The Marion county attorney filed charges on Friday. Mikels was arrested and released on bond several hours later.
"If others do come forward, we will continue the investigation and file charges in the future," said police chief Losada.
Mikels is scheduled to appear in court in early December.
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