Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Math Teacher Charged By Feds with Child Pornography
"We're absolutely sickened," an SCH parent says of the arrest of Andrew Wolf.
Update 1/13/2022: The feds now say that the victims of fired Springside Chestnut Hill teacher Andrew Wolf included his own middle school students. Read the full story by clicking here.
Philly Mag has learned that Springside Chestnut Hill Academy math teacher Andrew Wolf, 40, has been arrested by the FBI on child pornography charges.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice charged Wolf with three counts of child pornography: receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography; distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography; and willfully causing the distribution of child pornography. If convicted on all counts, he could face decades in federal prison.
According to the FBI, its investigation began in July, when Dropbox filed a report that an account linked to Wolf’s work email contained one file depicting child pornography involving two boys between 10 and 14 years of age. Investigators did some digging and allegedly traced the log-ins to this Dropbox account to one IP address at Wolf’s home in Roxborough and one at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a private school.
A judge issued a federal search warrant, and the FBI says it found many more disturbing images and videos of young boys engaged in sexual activity connected to Wolf’s account. They say they also found pornographic Instagram conversations between a young boy and an account they attribute to Wolf. Investigators claim Wolf purchased or attempted to purchase at least six sexually explicit videos of the boy for $100.
Court documents show explicit exchanges between the boy and the man alleged to be Wolf.
On Thursday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Wolf’s home, where he lives alone except for an infant. Agents seized multiple electronic devices.
Wolf is in federal custody awaiting a bail hearing.
On Thursday evening, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy head of school Steve Druggan acknowledged the arrest in the following message to parents:
I am writing to inform you that earlier today the FBI arrested SCH teacher Andrew Wolf on charges related to child pornography. He is currently in custody, and we understand that he will be arraigned tomorrow. The authorities told us that their investigation was prompted by activity that occurred outside of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
SCH follows strict protocols regarding our hiring and retention of all employees, including criminal background checks. We can confirm that Mr. Wolf’s background clearances are up-to-date and contained no information regarding prior criminal history. Moreover, we have never received any complaints or indications of improper conduct by Mr. Wolf. Mr. Wolf has been placed on administrative leave, and we certainly anticipate that he will not return to SCH.
If you or your child have any questions about your child’s contact with Mr. Wolf, please reach out to me or to your child’s divisional counselor or division head or contact the FBI directly.
I am sorry I have to communicate such difficult news. SCH’s commitment to the safety and security of our students is unyielding, and we are all understandably unsettled and upset by this news. We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with authorities as they continue their investigation. We will provide more information as we receive it.
I have scheduled opportunities to meet with both Middle and Upper School students tomorrow morning and will remain available to any member of our community who wishes to speak with me.
“We’re absolutely sickened,” an SCH parent told Philly Mag. “You just don’t think this can happen at a place like this. We’re supposed to be safe.”
Wolf’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.