REDDING, Calif. - Mervin Edy Wolf, 61, a former Tehama County resident, is being charged with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and production of child pornography.
Wolf, who currently lives in Englewood, Colo., was accused of taking pornographic photographs of a minor back in September 2007. Wolf and his wife regularly visited relatives in California where the minor resided. Over the next seven years, Wolf allegedly forced the minor to participate in sexual acts which he would videotape and photograph. Wolf's wife and relatives were present but unaware of what was happening.
In January 2013, the minor contacted Wolf on the phone and told him that she might be pregnant with his child. He said if she was pregnant he would pay for her to have an abortion. He mailed two home pregnancy tests to the minor but they were negative.
The minor disclosed the sexual abuse by Wolf when she learned that he was planning to visit in June 2014, fearing he would molest her younger sibling. Once the family was informed of this information, other family members also reported abuse by Wolf.
Wolf was a foster parent back in 2003 to two girls under the age of seven. Both of them disclosed sexual abuse by Wolf. No charges were filed against him but his foster care license was revoked.
On March 5, 2014, a federal search warrant was executed at Wolf's residence in Englewood, Colo. The minor called Wolf's cell phone minutes before the search at the direction of the investigating agency in California. The call was recorded. He confirmed his sexual relationship with the minor and the existence of the pornographic videos and photographs.
During the search of Wolf's home, FBI agents found an 8mm video camera along with other types of video recorders. The forensics team is currently examining those videos.
U.S. Attorney John Walsh was adamant that our society does not tolerate sexual abuse of children.
"In this case, the defendant not only traveled across state lines to sexually exploit a minor child, he also documented that horrible behavior using video recording devices. Processing cases such as this are a priority to protect innocent victims," Walsh said.
Wolf was officially charged March 6, 2014.
If Wolf is convicted of intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, he will face 30 years to life in federal prison as well as a $250,000 fine. If he is convicted of production of child pornography he will face another 15 to 30 years in federal prison and another $250,000 fine.
Wolf is due back in court Tuesday, March 11, 2014 for a detention hearing and preliminary hearing.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle encourages anyone who suspects such activity to immediately report to law enforcement.
"The FBI and our partners will continue to vigorously investigate all allegations of conduct that exploits and jeopardizes the well being of our children," Ravenelle said.
If you have any information about this case contact Denver FBI at 303-629-7171.
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