A high school teacher is accused of grooming teenage girls by creating fake online profiles to lure them into sending nude photos, feds say.
Jeremy Schobel, 31, who teaches English at Harriton High School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, was arrested Wednesday, June 7, according to the Lower Merion School District.
He faces charges of enticement of a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct and manufacture and attempted manufacture of child pornography.
The investigation began in November when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip the Yubo account “sophiavan423” was “grooming” minors, the FBI said. The account was later revealed to be used by Schobel, federal authorities said.
“Yubo provided account information for the ‘sophiavan423’ account including that the user identified herself to be a 17-year-old girl and posted two photographs to her profile that depicted what appeared to be a girl of that age,” an FBI agent said in a criminal complaint.
He also used a second account, “jillmoreno,” to talk to teenage girls, federal officials said. It’s believed that Schobel talked to girls on Yubo before redirecting conversations to Snapchat, according to the FBI.
In one of the conversations in December, he received naked photos from a girl after three days of talking, according to court records.
Schobel admitted to created the profiles when an FBI task force executed a search warrant at his home June 7, authorities said.
“He admitted he did so to obtain sexually explicit images, which he then used to masturbate,” according to the criminal complaint. “He advised agents that he had committed these crimes for years and communicated with many underaged girls, which he identified as between the ages of 16 and 18 years.”
Schobel was suspended by the Lower Merion School District pending the investigation, the school district said in a letter to families. The school district said it is not aware of any inappropriate interactions between Schobel and students in the district.
“Mr. Schobel joined the Lower Merion School District prior to the 2021-2022 school year,” the district said. “He had no prior record that would have precluded his hiring.”
Bryn Mawr is a northwest suburb of Philadelphia.