Englewood Man Sentenced to 60 Years in Federal Prison for Production of Child Pornography
DENVER—Mervin Edy Wolf, age 62, of Englewood, Colorado, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore to serve 720 months (60 years) in federal prison for production of child pornography, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced. Based on his age, the defendant will likely die in prison. At the beginning of the pronouncement of sentence, Judge Moore said; “Mr. Wolf, you were born a free man, but I’m going to make sure you don’t die as one.”
The defendant, who appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, was remanded following the hearing.
Wolf was arrested based on a Criminal Complaint filed on March 6, 2014. He was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 26, 2014. He pled guilty before Judge Moore on July 24, 2014. He was sentenced today, November 20, 2014.
Beginning on or about September of 2007, Wolf began producing pornographic photographs of a minor child who was a member of his extended family. Over the next seven years Wolf coerced the same minor child to perform and participate in an escalating pattern of sexual acts with him that Wolf would photograph and or video tape. During several of the molestations, Wolf’s other family members were in the room next door, but unaware of what was happening.
In January 2013, the minor child contacted Wolf via telephone and told him that she was afraid she may be pregnant due to his sexual activity with her. Wolf told the minor child he would pay for an abortion if she was in fact pregnant by Wolf. Wolf mailed two home pregnancy tests to the minor child; after she took the tests and learned she was not pregnant.
When the minor child learned that Wolf was planning to visit her in June 2014, she made the decision to disclose all of the sexual abuse by Wolf. The minor child explained she was afraid Wolf would start molesting her younger sibling. Once the minor child’s family learned of the abuse by Wolf, other family members came forward to also report abuse by Wolf. During the course of the California investigation, it was also learned that Wolf and his wife were foster parents in 2003. Two foster children who were both girls and under the age of seven, both disclosed sexual abuse by Wolf. The allegations were investigated by the Arapahoe County Department of Human Services and the Englewood Police Department. No charges were filed against Wolf. However, due to the allegations, the Wolfs’ foster care license was revoked.
On March 5, 2014, a federal search warrant was executed at the residence of Mervin Wolf in Englewood, Colorado. During the subsequent search of Wolf’s home, FBI agents seized a 8mm video camera, a digital camera, a camera tripod, and a laptop among other items. Forensic examination of the computers revealed that the Wolf had produced hundreds of images of child pornography of Minor #1 from the time that she was seven until she was fourteen. He also hid a camera in Minor #1’s bathroom and filmed her while she was nude.
“The defendant manipulated and preyed on children over the course of many years,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “He poses a permanent risk to other children and the community that fully warrants Judge Moore’s severe sentence, which guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
“The FBI will continue to aggressively seek out and investigate those who prey on children, especially those who produce and distribute child pornography,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “Crimes of this nature threaten our most precious resource, offend every sensibility, and cannot be tolerated.”
This case was investigated by the FBI with support from Minor #1’s local county Sheriff’s Office.
Wolf was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Smith, Chief, Special Prosecutions Section, Criminal Division of the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”