Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teacher sentenced to 39 years in catfishing child pornography scheme
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teacher will face 39 years behind bars for deceiving young students on social media and asking them for explicit pictures.
Authorities said Andrew Wolf used his position of trust as a teacher to exploit middle school boys in the child pornography program.
At Springside Chestnut Hill School, authorities said Wolf was a popular and respected teacher for 18 years. But online, he was a sexual deviant who exploited his students for his own gratification.
“Any boy in that school could have been a victim,” said federal prosecutor Kelly Harrell.
Harrell said the 42-year-old and his accomplice Kray Strange, of Carthage, New York, fished their victims by posing as teenage girls online to solicit nude photos and videos of the students.
In all, she says a dozen boys, among others, were exploited at the school.
The crimes date back to 2018 and continued until Wolf’s arrest in late 2021.
“The investigation began with a cyber tip from Dropbox to the national center for missing persons and abuse,” Harrell said.
Harrell said Wolf kept spreadsheets of his students’ social media accounts to help with his sexual plot, but there’s no evidence he sexually assaulted any of his students.
Wolf’s attorney released a statement to Action News stating:
“The sentencing process was very difficult for many people, including Andrew Wolf. Andrew previously pleaded guilty to all of the crimes charged in the indictment without a settlement. He accepted responsibility for the behavior he was accused of and apologized to the victims and their families. He waived all of his constitutional rights to a trial, so testimony would not be required in connection with his charges. The actions he took and the statements he made were sincere efforts to express his remorse and mitigate the effects of the criminal proceedings in the only way he could. He will spend the rest of his life serving others to right the crimes he committed.”
Harrell said parents should talk to their children about the dangers of sending pictures online.
“At best, you can be aware of what your kids are doing online, and even if you know your kid thinks they’re communicating with a girl who’s the same age as them, that may not always be the person.” who’s really behind the phone or the computer on the other end,” she said.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy released the following statement on Thursday’s sentencing:
“Today’s conviction is sobering for the SCH community. During this process, we were transparent with our community, updating them as we learned more about the situation, and providing avenues for two-way communication. We have also offered support services to anyone who needs them through our department heads or department psychologists. We will continue to make these resources and services available to students and others. Additionally, we have worked with law enforcement to ensure those responsible are held accountable. We hope today’s sentencing can provide a measure of the closure, and we will continue to do what we can to ensure the safety of our students and provide the resources the community needs to heal.”
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https://6abc.com/springside-chestnut-hill-academy-teacher-sentenced-child-porn-online-scheme/12833000/ Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teacher sentenced to 39 years in catfishing child pornography scheme