Jeremy Schobel

Jeremy Schobel, a 31-year-old teacher from Philadelphia, has been arrested in Lower Merion for allegedly engaging in illicit sexual contact with minors on social media. According to officials, Schobel created fake social media profiles, posing as a 17-year-old girl, to obtain sexually explicit images from teenagers aged 16 to 18.

The investigation was initiated in November 2022 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip from the social networking app Yubo regarding a user account named “sophiavan423” involved in the online grooming of minors. Yubo provided account information, indicating that the profile belonged to a 17-year-old girl, accompanied by pictures of a teenager of similar age.

Authorities discovered that another account, “jillmoreno,” was also fake and linked to the same individual as “sophiavan423.” Both accounts were associated with the same cellphone number, which was later traced back to Schobel.

Police allege that Schobel used these fake profiles to connect with minors, pretending to be a 17-year-old girl, and then solicited sexually explicit photos and videos through Snapchat.

On June 2, 2023, a search warrant was executed at Schobel’s Philadelphia residence, and he was subsequently questioned by the police. According to law enforcement, Schobel confessed to creating both profiles and engaging in communication with underage girls. He admitted to enticing photos and videos from victims, acknowledging that he had done so for an extended period.

Schobel was employed as an English teacher at Harriton High School but has been suspended following the investigation. The Lower Merion School District (LMSD) released a statement stating that there were no known inappropriate interactions between Schobel and LMSD students or any prior complaints or concerns from students or staff regarding his conduct in school.

The school district provided a list of resources for students to seek support during this challenging time. It was also revealed that, according to the FBI, Schobel may have engaged in these illicit activities using an IP address associated with the Lower Merion School District during work hours.

Students at Harriton High School were notified of Schobel’s arrest by teachers, which left many shocked and concerned. The school will provide counselors to support students and staff who may require assistance in dealing with the situation.

Shari Botwin, a trauma therapist, emphasized the importance of open discussions among students, particularly those who had Schobel as their teacher, as they may feel shocked, betrayed, or disheartened.

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