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Chambersburg teacher charged in child porn case

Jeffrey Schmutzler, of Fayetteville, Pa., was arrested on charges of distribution and receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors

March 21, 2013

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Federal prosecutors said Thursday a Chambersburg Area Senior High School teacher used a computer program to superimpose the faces of students on child pornography, which he then sent to others.

Jeffrey Schmutzler was arrested at his Fayetteville, Pa., home Thursday and appeared before Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson in Harrisburg, Pa., on charges of distribution and receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors, according to the Associated Press and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors told the judge that Schmutzler, a Spanish teacher, wrote fake fantasy stories about the students, and his computer, which had four times the normal storage capacity, was filled with pornographic images.

He also owned two life-sized silicone dolls, according to prosecutors.

Harrisburg television station WHTM-TV reported that Schmutzler waived his preliminary hearing Thursday and the case now will go before a grand jury.

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Schmutzler is facing five to 20 years in prison and is being held by U.S. marshals on $60,000 secured bond, WHTM-TV reported.

His parents own a local ice cream shop and told WHTM-TV that they plan to take him into their custody as soon as they come up with the money. However, the judge told Schmutzler he was not allowed near the shop, according to WHTM-TV.

Schmutzler’s public defender told The Associated Press she had no comment on his arrest.

Chambersburg school officials were notified of the arrest, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Joe Padasak, superintendent of the Chambersburg Area School District, said Thursday night that Schmutzler currently is on district suspension and a hearing will be held next week.

“We are required by law to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the bureau of certification and report this incident,” Padasak said.

Schmutzler has been a Spanish teacher at the high school since 2005, Padasak said, and this is the “first incident of this nature in the district since his tenure.”

“It’s very unfortunate. This is very unusual,” Padasak said, adding that counselors will be made available for students today.

“If (students) have had any contact or know anything about this, we will have a place for them to go and talk to a counselor,” he said. “We will have a crisis team on hand to help with any children who may need guidance of any sort.”

A substitute will be covering Schmutzler’s classes, Padasak said.

The U.S. Attorney’s office asks that anyone with information related to the case call U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Corricelli at 717-257-5581.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Pennsylvania State Police.

Herald-Mail staff writers Roxann Miller and C.J. Lovelace contributed to this story.

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