HIV-Positive Coach Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing 42 Boys
In an horrific tale that is unfortunately true, a HIV-positive man who was a former Maryland school aide and track coach, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing students and filming child pornography, prosecutors said.
Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, of Waldorf, signed a guilty plea agreement on 27 counts, including sexual abuse of a minor, porn charges and attempted transmission of HIV, the state’s attorney for Charles County, Tony Covington, said.
“You really can’t imagine what had to be gone through when investigating this case,” he said, alluding to the hours of video in the case that “nobody ever wants to see.”
Covington said one of his goals was maintaining the privacy and anonymity of the victims in the case, something made easier by avoiding a trial that would have been open to the public.
Bell was molesting and taking pictures of these boys for over two years. The charges cover conduct that spanned from May 2015 to June 2017, and the 42 victims range from 11 to 17 years old, Covington said.
Bell was initially charged with 206 counts. The abuse occurred while Bell was employed at two separate schools in Charles County.
He was fired from his job as an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Waldorf and lost his position as an indoor track coach at nearby La Plata High School last year, after the allegations against him first came to light.
Several of the victims were tested for HIV last year, but none of them tested positive.
HIV is spread only in certain body fluids from a person infected with HIV. These fluids are blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by having sex or sharing injection drug equipment, such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Some of the abuse was recorded by Bell on his cellphone, prosecutors tell PEOPLE.
Several incidents took place on school grounds. Others happened inside his home, according to authorities.
Bell will be sentenced on March 28. Prosecutors will be recommending he receive up to 190 years in prison. Covington said another of his goals was to make sure that Bell spends the rest of his life in prison.
Bell also faces federal charges and is due in court again later this month.
The investigation started in December 2016 when detectives received a tip about “possible inappropriate behavior with a student while he was coaching track,” the Charles County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.
“A student’s parent observed suspicious text messages on their child’s phone that were sexual in nature,” Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry said.