LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County announced that on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier sentenced Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30 of Waldorf, to 350 years suspend all but 190 years in prison for multiple counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, 2nd Degree Sexual Offense, 3rd Degree Sexual Offense, Child Pornography Filming, Attempted Transmission of HIV, and related charges.
On June 30, 2017, Bell was arrested at his home for charges of child pornography and assault. An investigation of Bell began in December of 2016 after a parent reported a suspicious text sent to a student’s cellular device. Bell, who was working for Charles County Public Schools as an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and a track coach at La Plata High School, was immediately placed on administrative leave and ordered to have no contact with students.
Detectives conducted a search on Bell’s work computer with no suspicious results. Detectives also executed a search warrant on Bell’s home, where his personal computer and other electronics were retrieved and submitted to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab for examination. Through the examination, the Maryland State Police Crime Lab found numerous videos that depicted Bell sexually assaulting minors. It was confirmed that the videos were produced on school property and at Bell’s home in Waldorf, Maryland. The time frame of the alleged conduct spans approximately 3 years from the beginning of 2014 through June of 2017. The ages of the victims at the time the offenses were committed range from 11 years old to 17 years old.
During the investigation, Bell admitted that he was HIV positive at the time of the assaults. Other evidence uncovered by investigators corroborated Bell’s disclosure. To this date, the State is not aware of any victims having tested positive for HIV.
On January 5, 2018, Bell entered a guilty plea in Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge Amy J. Bragunier to 27 counts ranging from Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Second Degree Sex Offense and other related charges.
During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman told the court, “Even after being suspended from his job with the schools on the suspicion of inappropriate solicitation of a minor, even after detectives searched his house and seized all the electronic devices he knew contained his self-made child pornography, the abuse of minors still continued up to two weeks prior to his arrest. That is brazen and bold. He has no remorse. All he cared about was his own immoral desires. And this was not an isolated incident. This was pedophilia at its worst. The defendant targeted and abused at-risk kids, those that were most susceptible to his manipulations”.
In arguing to the Court that it should impose a sentence that would keep Bell in jail for the rest of his life, State’s Attorney Covington explained, “Retribution is one of the legitimate goals of sentencing in a criminal case. The retribution imposed by our Courts help our victims and communities to believe that justice can be and will be done. And it keeps citizens from taking matters into their hands through vigilantism. Given the huge impact on the dozens of victims in this case, retribution should be the top goal in sentencing Carlos Bell. This community has been stunned by the immoral and horrific acts of this defendant and I am asking this Court, by its sentence, to give voice to the communities’ outrage. Let Mr. Bell, and anyone else that is watching, know that abusing our children will not be tolerated and very well may cost you your freedom for the rest of your life.”
After sentencing, when asked to comment on the Court’s sentence, Covington commented, “The Court essentially imposed the exact sentence we recommended. I certainly can’t complain about a sentence that is the maximum under the plea agreement and one we requested. Let’s be clear though: he deserves every day he has to serve. By his own admission during pre-sentencing evaluations, he has a compulsion that he can’t control. If anyone can’t control themselves from engaging in the evil acts of pedophilia, they should not be running around free to abuse more kids. The Court obviously agrees with my view of it since the Court’s sentence protects our children from Carlos Bell, realistically, forever.”
Summary of Charges
|Sexual Abuse of a Minor||3-602(b)(1)||57, 132, 145,174, 175|
|Sexual Offense – 2nd Degree – Force||3-306(a)(1)||7, 38|
|Sexual Offense – 3rd Degree||3-307(a)(4)||54, 66, 89|
|Attempted Transmission of HIV||HG 18-601.1||34, 51, 56, 64, 68|
|Assault 2nd Degree||3-203||131|
|Child Pornography Filming||11-207(a)(2)||136, 151, 153, 160|
|Solicitation of a Minor||3-324||185, 179, 187|
|Display of obscene Matter to Minor||11-203||180, 182, 186, 189|
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