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James Wolfe, Popular English Teacher and Coach at Matanzas, Accused of Sex With a Student

| August 17, 2013

James Wolfe

James Wolfe

James Wolfe is a 31-year-old English teacher and cross country coach at Matanzas High School. He’s been there six years. He’s popular with his students, dedicated, and a producer of quality athletes who have a knack for landing scholarships to quality schools.

Saturday, Wolfe was arrested and charged with seven counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, whom he allegedly drugged, based on allegations dating back to between August 2010 and May 2011, according to his arrest report, when the alleged victim was 16.

The victim was home-schooled last year, and is due to return to Matanzas this year. School resumes on Monday, following the summer recess. Matanzas High School Principal Chris Pryor has called an emergency faculty meeting for 7:05 Monday morning, which will be attended by Superintendent Janet Valentine, so the administration can answer teachers’ questions, though not much more is known at the moment than what the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has released. The administration is gathering Wolfe’s personnel history, which has been clean, Valentine said.

“I’ll just tell them our focus is on the students, and to move forward,” Pryor said of the essence of Monday’s meeting with faculty.

Teachers have been texting, emailing and calling each other since the news broke Saturday afternoon. The consensus among teachers is a mixture of shock and disbelief, though shock and disbelief had also accompanied the dismissal, on far less serious (and non-criminal) charges, of Steve Knob, who’d been a popular and accomplished band leader for five years at Matanzas when he was forced to resign in November 2011 after downloaded porn on a school computer was traced to him.

The seven charges against Wolfe are second-degree felonies. Each charge, if convicted, carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. He was jailed on $140,000 bond, which he posted. He is a resident of 400 Ocean Marina Drive in Flagler Beach.

Wolfe has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the allegations against him. Valentine will submit her request to the school board, which meets Tuesday, that he remain on paid leave through the proceedings.

“We’ll continue to allow the Sheriff’s Department to investigate and see as it unfolds, what’s going to happen,” Valentine said Saturday evening. She spoke of Wolfe’s good reputation until now, but the district was conducting its own analysis of the matter. “We’re starting to get all the information and pulling anything together that we have that might be of concern, but other than that he’s been a good teacher and students liked him.”

Wolfe’s arrest report refers to dated but no less disturbing allegations.

The victim, according to the arrest report, recalled “at least” seven to 10 incidents, “possibly more,” involving sexual activity with Wolfe, including alleged oral sex and intercourse. “The victim advised that the first time she ever had sex with [Wolfe] was at his residence where he provided her an unknown type of narcotic along with alcohol. The victim stated that the narcotic made her feel very relaxed and took away the uneasy feeling of her being at the residence.”

The victim related an incident that took place on April 27, 2011, that she said she would never forget. She said Wolfe “picked her up from her residence the night before and was partially intoxicated,” according to the report. “While in the vehicle, Wolfe grabbed the victim’s vaginal area. [Wolfe] took the victim to his residence where they had sex after consuming alcohol. The victim stated that after having sex both her and the defendant fell asleep in his bed naked. They were both woken by the defendant’s girlfriend at the time who came home unexpectedly.”

Another incident occurred at the Princess Place preserve, where the district incidentally runs a specialized educational program.

“The two were leaving in his vehicle when Wolfe set up a tent in the woods and had sexual intercourse with the victim,” the arrest report states. “During each incident the victim stated that she felt compelled to engage in sexual acts with Wolfe because of his position of authority over her.”

Wolfe’s sister, Louise Wolfe, is also a faculty member at Matanzas, where she was the 2011 Teacher of the Year. She was a math teacher until she was pulled out of the classroom two years ago and placed on an administrative track, working closely with the central office. She is currently a college and career readiness specialist.

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30 Responses for “James Wolfe, Popular English Teacher and Coach at Matanzas, Accused of Sex With a Student”

  1. Barnicle Bill says:

    A 28 year old teacher ? High school ? Teenage girls with hormones raging . Let the judicial system work this one out. Damn you people are quick to throw the “guilty” switch.


  2. JP says:

    The administration, specifically, the principal and former athletic director (now vice principal) were aware of Coach Wolfe’s shenanigans but chose to do nothing. They were aware of rumors back in 2010 and told students to stop spreading rumors, which if they had just opened their eyes would have seen were TRUE. They were aware Coach Wolfe had an extended romantic relationship with a former student and did nothing. The administration at MHS needs to be held accountable.


  3. anonymous says:

    You all are so quick to judge. This girl had been sleeping with him since I was in highschool (graduated in 2012). She was always open about it, and definitely sought him out just as much as him her. The part that I don’t seem to understand is why she “felt compelled” to sleep with him, for years might I add, when he was no longer even her teacher. It’s really all a bunch of bullshit. Adults seem to think all their high school, teenagers are angels who would never do anything wrong. HA. Think again. Your child is probably just as bad as the next, and if you think they wouldn’t go as far as to initiate sleeping with a teacher, you’re sadly mistaken.


  4. Rocky R. says:

    The “guilty until proven innocent” ideology I see in our community (I suppose this is prevalent in our society as well, but I digress) is honestly a tad sickening. People see the stigma of a poor young girl preyed on by the big bad older man because it is much easier to say “burn the witch!” then it is to say “well perhaps there are both sides to this argument” and withhold judgment, if not just for the sheer fact that 99% of us have NO CLUE what any of the evidence is besides accusations. Let us not forget that yes, unfortunately, within our beau monde, the awful crime of rape and assault is ubiquitous, but let us not also forget that there are a significant amount of cases where women “cry wolf” about these kinds of things as well. I in no way support or stand by any of the accusations laid out here, but I do not believe that this man should be seen as guilty before he has had his day in court. Either way, his reputation is irreparably tarnished, and hopefully, not without good cause.


  5. honestly says:

    I just want to thank the victim for being brave and coming forward with this. It takes alot of courage but you have done the right thing. By reporting this you have saved one child from going through what you went through you are a brave hero in my eyes. My child had this man on the schedule for English class this year so Thank you for bringing this to light. You are a Brave young lady and may God Bless You.


  6. Keep digging says:

    To anonymous:

    You response to the comments in this article leave me wondering…Since this crime against a child was officially reported to the FCSO several years ago and a case was opened, are you blindly suggesting that this arrest years later is a result of the FCSO doing a good job?

    Wen my friend reported this child molestation to the FCSO years ago they assigned a detective to investigate the allegations and protect that child. That investigation is public record. That investigator CLOSED that case after a very short investigation and that investigator failed to act to prevent ongoing acts of child molestation. The child continued to be victimized until finally it was agin reported and another case was opened years later.

    I pay the salary of the FCSO as a tax payer. The sheriff accepts my money as his salary and in return he pledges to protect and serve us. He and his office are accountable to us all…period. Lazy and shoddy performance that places our children in harms way is not acceptable on any level.

    If the Sheriff is serious about being an honorable law enforcement leader, he should immediately suspend the original investigator who allowed a child to be continuously harmed because of their failure to act..that is why I hope and pray that the victim and their family hire Morgan & Margan ASAP before this can be covered up. A lawsuit will remind the FCSO why they exist…to protect and serve. The alternative is vigilante justice.


  7. biker says:

    There needs to be an external investigation of whether or not this incident or previous incidents of this type were reported to school officials. If this school district had even one other allegation of this type in the past about this individual then they are culpable. This wouldn’t be the first time a school employee has been protected by the school district.


    • Anonymous says:

      The key here is the girlfriend supposedly walking in on them. If this truly aS the case, then that in itself should tie the story together. However, this whole “feeling compelled due to his position of authority” is ridiculous. A teacher and their job is as fragile as they come when it comes down to issues like these. She could have exposed him at any timd during the relations. My opinion is that she knew about the drugs and alcohol and was totally down to “party”. Then, someone told her that she was the victim and she came forward.

      Second possible theory is that she made advances and were shut down, then got a less than desirable grade that is now effecting her. If so, now she wants to clear the validity of it with this story.

      Either way, someones gotta be wrong, and it could very well be both of them.


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