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Former Tennessee principal accused of sex crimes

A former Tennessee elementary school principal has been accused of a serious crime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI says the suspect was arrested after he allegedly tried to arrange sex with an infant girl.

The 51-year-old is charged with sex crimes that include transportation of child pornography in interstate commerce, coercion and enticement of a minor and interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor.

According to the criminal complaint, an undercover Chattanooga police officer on a social media platform played the role of a mother of an infant girl in a sting operation. The officer chatted with the suspect in a group called “Loving Kids 1 Private Room.”

According to the undercover officer, the suspect said he was from Tennessee and “expressed interest in participating in sexual activity with the infant daughter.” He reportedly said he “loves little girls” and asked the officer if she has played with children.

The FBI special agent wrote in an affidavit: “Based on the full context of the conversation and experience in an undercover capacity engaging in discourse with individuals who seek out children to molest, (I’m) aware that the word ‘play’ means to engage in sexual contact with a child.”

The suspect also allegedly posted child porn images and videos in the online group.

The man reportedly asked the agent who was posing as a mother if she was a law enforcement officer, but received assurances that she was not.

He and the special agent arranged to meet at a Georgia “lodging facility,” where he was arrested.

Records obtained by a reporter indicate the suspect was a principal at two Georgia schools and at a school about 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga in Cleveland.

Those facing similarly serious allegations should contact a Chattanooga attorney experienced in sex crimes defense.

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