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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.

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

  1. Outsider says:

    Just what I wanted to hear as my fifteen year old daughter heads back to school Monday. Now, I know there are always two sides to every story and some accusations are false, but I would remind certain individuals we not only pay you to teach, but we pay you to know better.

  2. J. says:

    Wow I saw on another publication a lot of rushing to judgment. I also see the hypocrisy of some narrow minded individuals. Lets let the judicial process take its course and if he is acquitted will we call it an injustice? If we choose sides on this case are we going to look into the victim’s past and say oh she was promiscuous she must have wanted it? No none of that will happen because she is probably Caucasian and comes from a affluent neighborhood like hammock. So her credibility will be solid. I wish Trayvon would’ve gotten the same treatment as a victim. Instead you had faux (fox) interviewing the perpetrator and clearing his name.

  3. Pam says:

    This must be one of the teachers who is underpaid—- he had no problem posting his bond so we should feel sorry or him.

    Palm Coast—what a nice place to live-NOT!

  4. unhappy mom says:

    Well, the staff at Matanzas stoops to new lows every day. Who hires these creeps? Our children deserve better. We need a thorough house cleaning in the Flagler county school system.

  5. Shocked, I tell you... says:

    Why did they wait so long to arrest him?

  6. kmedley says:

    He’s been placed on administrative leave, WITH PAY!

    • Mike says:

      @kmedley, yes, unfortunatly most businesses do the same, you must pay and individual while you do your investigation. This maybe a case where he has done nothing wrong, we will need to wait and see

  7. Jennifer Lopez says:

    Innocent until proven guilty !

  8. Ron says:

    How does the school hire teachers who assault students, drug them and have sex with them? For six years no one saw any deviancy in this person’s behavior? Is the school faculty blind and unconscious? Six years????
    And how many other student victims have been assaulted and not reported the incidents?

  9. biker says:

    How about letting law enforcement do the investigation? Why does the school district think they have any standing in this? And why is this “Paid” administrative leave? This school district has a history of allowing disturbing behavior to go unaddressed.

    • Marie says:

      The school has to give him paid leave until he is proven guilty or until he gives a statement admitting of his wrong doings with this student because they just can’t go based on he said she said rumors. How can anyone expect this man to be let go with out pay based on allegations. Until there is proof or he admits anything legally they can’t just let him go. I do agree that this school has a history of letting disturbing behavior go, I mean sex in the halls, the teachers and his porn, the kid and reporting a rape that never happened, hey the list goes on.

  10. gr8ful dad says:

    As a parent with kids attending Matanzas I want to say its about damn time!!! This child had been preyed on by this teacher for a long time and I sincerely hope that if there are any other kids that have encountered this teachers aggressions they have the strength and courage to come forward. I realize legally that he is innocent until proven guilty but a lot of parents and students at this school have been aware of these allegations over the last several years. Oh but the school board says “he is a popular teacher with the students” that may be because he likes to party with active and former students. I say let justice be served and if these accusations are proved true hold Pryor (principal) and Seybold (A.D.) and the School Board fully accountable. This should have been dealt with years ago and corrective actions should have been taken.

    • Marie says:

      So if you are saying that a lot of parents and students at this school have been aware of these allegations over the last several years, why hasn’t this come to light sooner??? Why haven’t these parents and even student spoken up, what kind of sense does that make. I mean it is one thing for other teens to remain quiet out of fear but not grown adults.

  11. Keep digging says:

    I’m so glad this man is no longer able to victimize this poor teenager. Please don’t stop there with the story. My friend reported this to the FCSO years ago and the case was closed after a very shabby investigation. That case being closed after never even talking to the victim allowed for this monster to continue to victimize a child. If I were the victim and her family I would immediately hire Morgan & Morgan and go after the people responsible for allowing this to continue.

    • Marie says:

      Well if what you are stating even holds the slightest bit of truth this allegation will also be brought out and I hope your friend gets her much needed justice.

  12. Jadobi says:

    Well, skip the trial and the whole process we as Americans value, for it appears he has already been convicted… Let the incident play out in the courts before everyone rushes to judgment. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has cried wolf(e). No pun intended.

  13. anonymous says:

    Law enforcement did do an investigation that’s how come he was arrested. Did you notice the where, how or way he was arrested is not in the public report or what incriminating evidence they have on him or any statements he may have made? Agencies cover themselves when it comes to stories like this before they make an arrest.

  14. Chris says:

    Personally, I feel like this is another attempt by a student who got poor grades in a class, who is now trying to slander them. I went to Matanzas for 3 years and I can personally say Coach Wolfe helped me, and the other students quite a bit, though I didn’t have his class. He was a great teacher, and I personally hope that this gets looked into PROPERLY.

    “He set up a tent and they had sex”

    Princess Place has enough people coming and going so that wouldn’t be possible. The time between a teacher leaving there and heading back to the school would also be hard to disguise. The “accusations” against him are also poorly written and really hold no water. Regardless, I hope this is taken care of properly, and the charges filed are the correct ones. Keep in mind, there was a female teacher who was sacked for having relations with a student 4 years ago. It wasn’t publicised, however it was known through the school.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This was posted all over my Facebook, and many kids said that they saw for a long time that the girl was always with him, he was my English teach and he never came out to be this type of person, I hope that this girl isn’t just trying to get him into trouble because she found out he had a girlfriend.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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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