Advertisement

Parents briefed on child porn case against Chambersburg Area Senior High School teacher

Jeffrey Schmutzler remains incarcerated on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography

April 02, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A child exploitation investigation involving a former Chambersburg Area Senior High School teacher so far has not indicated he perpetrated any physical sex crimes against victims, the lead investigator said Tuesday.

Jeffrey Schmutzler was arrested March 21 at his Fayetteville, Pa., home by federal agents. The Spanish teacher submitted his resignation Tuesday morning, according to school officials.

Schmutzler remains incarcerated on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography. Prosecutors allege he used software to place students’ faces on bodies in pornographic images.

“This part of the situation is just beginning. We have a lot of work to do on the case,” said Laurie Reiley, a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Advertisement

Reiley addressed a crowd of high school parents Tuesday evening. She was joined by Postal Inspector Michael Corricelli and representatives of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team.

Corricelli said his agency, the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, became involved in the Schmutzler investigation Feb. 28.

“As soon as we found out what he did for work, we moved very fast,” Corricelli said.

A search of Schmutzler’s home resulted in the seizure of his computer, which allegedly had four times the normal storage capacity and was filled with pornographic images.

“At this time, there are no females involved in this case,” Corricelli said.

Angela Keen Badjie of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team talked to approximately 70 parents about coping mechanisms.

“While no one died in this crime, there is a sense of loss here,” she said.

Situations such as this one are difficult because teachers are in a position where they are supposed to be trusted, Badjie said.

“School may not be perceived as a safe and secure place anymore,” she said.

It will take some time to forensically examine the computer and submit potential victims to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for comparison to its database, Reiley said.

Victims will be notified in person, officials said.

“In the federal system, when we file charges against somebody, the investigation is ongoing. ... Please know in advance this is going to be a very long process,” Reiley said.

“As we identify individuals, we will notify them immediately,” Corricelli said, adding that some people already have been notified.

At this time, investigators do not have evidence Schmutzler disseminated the images, Corricelli said.

“We believe these were kept very secure, private to the individual,” he said.

Parents asked about the notification process and from where the students’ pictures came. They asked about whether graduates might be involved.

Corricelli said the school district provided him with names and images of all high school students from the past 10 years.

“It does not appear any (inappropriate or criminal) data was on the school computer,” Corricelli said.

To share information potentially relevant to the investigation, call 717-257-5581. For victim assistance, call 717-221-4482.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|