Philadelphia

Ex-Philly Private School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Offenses

Former Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teacher Andrew Wolf pleaded guilty to child porn offenses along with accomplice from New York

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A former Philadelphia private school teacher faces a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty in federal court to being part of a scheme to catfish children.

Former Springside Chestnut Hill Academy teacher Andrew Wolf pleaded guilty on Thursday to multiple child exploitation offenses that are connected with attempts to manipulate and catfish children online -- even Wolf's own students.

The investigation began on July 12, 2021 when the company Dropbox submitted a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children accusing Andrew Wolf, now 42, of uploading a video depicting suspected child pornography.

Wolf, who worked as a middle and high school techer at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy for 18 years, tried to buy sexually explicit videos of a 13-year-old boy for a PlayStation card worth $100. He communicated with the boy on Instagram, investigators said at the time of his arrest.

Wolf also appeared to have posed as a teenage girl on social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat while following young boys, according to court documents filed in October 2021.

Wolf and his 20-year-old accomplice, Kray Strange, pleaded guilty on Thursday to several child exploitation offenses, federal prosecutors said.

"Between May 2020 and October 2021, Wolf and Strange developed and carried out an elaborate online child exploitation catfishing scheme, in which they impersonated minor girls to entice their child victims to self-produce and send them sexually explicit images," a release from the U.S. attorney's office said.

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Wolf provided his own middle school students' identifying information to Strange, the US attorney's office said. Strange then used the information to target the children online.

“Both of these defendants violated the privacy and innocence of children, but Andrew Wolf also violated the trust of the community in which he taught by victimizing his own students,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said in a statement.

“Our Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to doing the difficult work of investigating and prosecuting these crimes in order to hold child sexual predators accountable.”

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy fired Wolf after learning of the allegations last year.

"SCH has absolutely no tolerance for such activity and is unyielding in its commitment to the safety of our students," Steve Druggan, the Head of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, wrote at the time of Wolf's arrest.

The school didn't respond to NBC10's most recent request for comment.

Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division Jacqueline Maguire urged adults to remind the kids in their lives that not everyone is who they say they are online.

Wolf faces a maximum potential prison sentence of 240 years, while Strange's maximum is 210 years, the U.S. attorney's office said. The two defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

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