Teacher Arrested for Sex Crime
KENNEWICK, Wash.- A former Kennewick teacher is in jail facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Kennewick Police arrested 72-year-old Bill Pickerel Friday.
A building at KeHS is named Pickerel Hall after the long time former teacher, now, that same teacher, famous for taking students on trips to sporting events in Seattle, sits in the Benton County Jail on a 72-hour hold suspected of making sexual contact with a student on one of those trips.
The 47-year veteran of the Kennewick School District was arrested for two-counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.
"When a teacher has sexual intercourse with a 16 or 17 year old student," said prosecutor Andy Miller, explaining the accusations.
Police arrested Pickerel after multiple reports of sexual activity with the same 16-or-17 year old student.
Investigators won't say when or where, but revealed that they're working with Seattle police, and initial reports show incidents may have occurred in both jurisdictions, including one on a non-school sponsored trip Pickerel was known for taking students on.
"There is a potential for other victims, and so that in itself will tell you that there's still work for us to do," said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg.
On Monday, students outside the Kennewick High building bearing his name reacted with surprise.
"Why, why is he in jail? That's, that's stunning," said Michael Currie.
The District says the longtime teacher retired in 1998. Shortly after, the building he taught in was named in his honor. Records show that since then pickerel has worked as a substitue at the high school. On Friday, his name was removed from that list.
The District has begun their own investigation into the allegations, but at last check hadn't sent anything home to parents or made students aware of the allegations.
Pickerel remained in jail Monday afternoon, he hasn't been charged, but's being held on $200,000 bail.