HIV positive Charles Co. school assistant accused of sexually victimizing 42 kids pleads guilty
LA PLATA, Md. - A former Charles County school assistant, who officials said is HIV positive, accused of sexually victimizing 42 juveniles has pleaded guilty, according to officials.
Charles County officials said 30-year-old Carlos Bell pleaded guilty to 27 counts of sexual abuse of a minor along with a slew of other serious crimes after being indicted on 206 charges. He will be sentenced to 190 years in prison, authorities stated.
Bell, of Waldorf, was accused of sexually victimizing 42 juveniles. Of the 42 victims, officials said 28 have been identified and 14 remain unidentified.
Authorities stated Bell sexually abused his victims at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, at his home and possibly at other locations between May of 2015 and June of 2017. Bell sexually assaulted students while not wearing protection, according to police.
Officials said ages of the victims ranged from 11 years old to 17 years old. The state attorney’s office said they were not aware of any of the victims testing positive for HIV as of October.
Investigators said a concerned parent checked her child's phone and found inappropriate text messages in connection with Bell in November. Authorities launched an investigation in December and Bell was removed from La Plata High School and his coaching job on Dec. 22.
A search of Bell's work computer didn't reveal anything suspicious, according to detectives. But police said a search of Bell's home computer and electronic devices turned up child pornography.
Officials said they wanted to reach a plea deal with Bell to protect the young victims from having to testify in court.
“The other goal, just as important or more important, was maintain the privacy and the anonymity of the young victims in this case,” Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington explained.
Bell also faces federal charges, which he is expected to also plead guilty to, according to officials.