LA PLATA, Md. - A Charles County middle school instructional assistant and track coach who is HIV positive sexually assaulted “several male students,” according to authorities.
Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, has worked at J. P. Ryon Elementary School and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Waldorf as an instructional assistant, and at Maurice J. McDonough High School in Pomfret and La Plata High School as a track coach, according the Charles County Sheriff's Office.
Bell has been employed since 2014, according to school officials.
Investigators said a concerned parent checked her child's phone and found inappropriate text messages in November. Authorities began investigating Bell in December and he 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.
"Some of the evidence found included graphic images of Bell sexually assaulting victims. Some of the crimes appear to have been committed on school property and others at his home in Waldorf. Investigators have identified some victims seen on the images and have obtained statements. So far we are aware of seven victims,” Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry said.
Investigators said Bell, who was determined to be HIV positive, sexually abused his victims at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, at his home and possibly at other locations. Officials said there were at least 10 victims and seven had been identified.
Bell sexually assaulted the students while not wearing protection, authorities stated. Only two students have been tested so far and both of their results came back HIV negative, according to officials.
“It is devastating to us that something like this could take place in a classroom, in a school building, where adults are charged with taking care of children. I can assure you there will be very persistent follow up for us to determine exactly what happened and how it was allowed to happen,” Charles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill said.
Bell's neighbors said they saw kids in and out of his home, but it did not raise suspicion. They said he seemed like a nice guy.
The sheriff's office said Bell, of Waldorf, was arrested on June 30 for a number of charges including second-degree assault and production of child pornography.
Bell is being held without bond and the sheriff's office said more charges were pending. Investigators said they believed there could be more victims. Authorities urged parents whose children may have had contact with Bell to talk with them.
The FBI has established a hotline for anyone with concerns about their children relating to this case. That number is 1-800-225-5324.