News

Former Danville teacher pleads guilty to child pornography possession

59-year-old admits to having about 50,000 illicit digital files, prosecutors say

A former Danville middle school teacher pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Mitchell Wolf, 59, admitted to knowingly possessing approximately 50,000 digital files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit content, prosecutors said.

Wolf was employed as a math teacher at Diablo Vista Middle School when he was arrested last August by local authorities following a search of his home on Bourne Lane in Danville.

Wolf, who had taught at Diablo Vista since 2002, was placed on unpaid administrative leave in the wake of his arrest. He retired from the school district effective June 12, according to district spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office charged Wolf with aggravated child pornography possession last August, and the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a federal charge of child pornography possession against Wolf on April 3.

As part of pleading guilty to that federal count in Oakland on Wednesday, Wolf admitted to intentionally saving the illicit image and video files to his personal computer and onto CDs and DVDs -- some of which he reportedly hand-labeled with acronyms and terminology consistent with child pornography.

He also admitted to downloading the digital files from the Internet using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, prosecutors said.

Wolf is currently out of custody on $250,000 bail and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for Oct. 21. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, a lifetime term of supervised release, and must pay restitution.

The status of the DA's Office local case against Wolf was not immediately clear.

Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Danville mom
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2015 at 7:24 am

I hope he gets the maximum sentence and fine, and I hope the school district does a better job of protecting our children from pedophiles in the classroom.


8 people like this
Posted by Concerned Mom
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2015 at 10:02 am

Danville Mom, unless any of the employees (current or future) have had an arrest or conviction for anything...child pornography, drugs, alcohol issues, a background check and references are all that can be done. The SRVUSD cannot legally look through personal computers! If there are signs of any type, those should be reported and not swept under the rug. I believe that more parents should be concerned what their students are posting on social media, if everyone took a minute to look at postings and continually reinforce what is right and wrong it would give the pedophiles less to work with!


2 people like this
Posted by alarmed
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2015 at 11:20 am

Dear concerned mom-
I agree that there is only so much a background check can do if there is no history of arrest.
However you are completely off your rocker if you are going to pass blame on students posting on social media! Please re-examine your logic that kids on social media are to blame for pedophiles and what they have to work with. You are mixing up apples and oranges in this comparison and the two have nothing to do with each other. They are two completely different issues and I am disgusted you would even suggest otherwise. If you have an issue with what kids post on social media that should be in a different conversation not included as part of why pedophiles do what they do. Please don't post such outrageous disgusting claims.


3 people like this
Posted by Alarmed at Alarmed
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Dear Alarmed,
Where in the post was there a mention of blame?
The problem with reading a post is that you draw your own conclusions. I think that the mom is saying that maybe parents can look at their own kids' postings to see if there is any clue if something like that was going on. If there were more reporting by people who see concern, maybe more flags would be raised that would show up on background checks and references. A simple Facebook search can see if a grown adult is friends and communicates with a majority of young people.
The problem is that we do not know who is looking at what, and there are children that post things online that maybe should not be there. I have seen teens post things that would get them in trouble for pornographic distribution.
To say that you are "disgusted" without asking for further explanation, is not appropriate.


7 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I think I read in the original newsbreak that he has a family, how sad for them if so. What the school district needs is to not have a teacher's union protecting creeps like this. I saw many comments on a previous news story that were from students & parents who had expressed a bad feeling about him and other more specific things that I can't recall exactly, but it would be nice if the district could actually act on those complaints.


4 people like this
Posted by Amber E.
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 10, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Disgusted:

Where do you get your information? Or do you just make stuff up? The union did not protect this teacher, where are you getting this information? You have none and are misinformed. He was put on leave and then retired on June 12th, his legal right to retire. In addition, there were only comments, not complaints against him when the initial report came out. How can the district act on comments on a website when the man was in jail? Get your facts straight.

It doesn't matter, what he did was wrong and disgusting and now he will pay the ultimate price.

So, peck away and then go hide Disgusted.


Like this comment
Posted by formejoe
a resident of Danville
on Jul 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

Amber E - any idea whether this individual will be receiving retirement benefits from the district?


Like this comment
Posted by Amber E.
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

He will get retirement benefits. He retired June 12th and then plead guilty. You can't take a persons retirement simply because they committed a crime. If that were true, we would have a lot of poor criminals in this world.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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