BROCKWAY — A 46-year-old Brockway teacher was arrested Wednesday on 105 counts of possession and dissemination of child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.
Brookville Borough police arrested Brockway Area High School math teacher Michael Todd Wonderling after Police Chief Vince Markle was contacted by a representative of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Northwest Computer Crime Unit.
Wonderling, a Brookville resident, reportedly was arrested at the Brockway high school.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, the state police unit began the investigation after receiving images from Microsoft of alleged child pornography distribution. The images were viewed by the state police corporal handling the case and by authorities with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A subpoena was issued to Internet service provider Windstream and it was determined the IP address was for Wonderling’s residence, according to the affidavit.
Markle and investigating officer Mickey Stormer executed a search warrant at Wonderling’s Brookville residence and recovered several cell phones, thumb drives, CDs and other computer equipment as well as Wonderling’s desktop computer. State police forensic scientist Fernando Hernandez notified Stormer that he reconstructed deleted images from the cell phones and computer seized at Wonderling’s residence and had found more than 30 images of alleged child pornography. Hernandez is expected to provide more documentation from his search.
According to police, Wonderling, who has been with the school district for about 15 years, is alleged to have accessed child pornography 30 times since November 2018.
Wonderling is incarcerated at the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for May 2 with District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak.
Contacted by the Courier Express Wednesday, BASD Superintendent Jeff Vizza said the news was “very shocking.”
He said the district has alerted staff members, the school board and all parents and guardians about the arrest.
Initial contact with the borough police department has indicated that no students were involved or in danger in connection with the charges filed.
The district plans to fully cooperate with law enforcement in connection with the incident, Vizza said.