By: Sarah Louise Purtill
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
MARYLAND, U.S. – Carlos Bell, a former school aide and track coach has been accused of sexually assaulting 42 juvenile boys. Bell was a teaching aid at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and a track coach at La Plata High School. Bell told police he was HIV positive and that he was HIV positive when he assaulted the boys and evidence corroborated the claim.
Maryland’s State Attorney’s Office has indicted Bell on 206 counts. This is the third time the indictment has been updated to reflect charges from additional alleged victims as more are discovered.
The boys are between the ages of 11 and 17. 28 of the alleged victim are identified while the remaining 14 alleged victims are unidentified according to the State Attorney’s Office for Charles County. In December of 2016, police say an investigation was started on Bell after a tip that Bell was involved in inappropriate behavior with a student while coaching track.
Sheriff Troy Berry said, “A parent observed suspicious text messages on a child’s phone that were sexual in nature.” The parent checked her child’s phone and found inappropriate text messages involving Bell. However, Bell was not arrested until July. At that time, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said as many as 10 boys were assaulted, 7 of which were identified by video found in Bell’s home. During the search of Bell’s home, police also found computers and other electronics that linked him to the production of child porn. Among that evidence were graphic images of Bell sexually assaulting victims.
Bell allegedly assaulted the boys without protection. So far, the State Attorney’s Office for Charles County stated that they are not aware of any of the alleged victims testing positive for HIV. The abuse is believed to have been committed from May 2015 through June 2017. Bell is accused of abusing the alleged victims at the Middle School, his home and possibly, other locations.
At this time, the State Attorney’s Office said charges against Bell include: 22 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, 19 counts of second-degree sex offense, 19 counts of second-degree sex offenses, 7 counts of third-degree sex offense, 97 counts of child pornography and other offenses. If convicted of these crimes, the State Attorney’s Office will seek life in prison. Currently, Bell is being held without bail and his next court date is January 8, 2018.
The Superintendent of Schools for Charles County, Kimberly A. Hill, said they have been cooperating with authorities in a letter dated July 3, 2017. The letter also stated that Bell has not worked in any of the school buildings since December 22, 2016. Lastly, the note also stated “To our parents and our community, who put their faith and trust in us to safeguard their children, I apologize on behalf of Charles County Public Schools.”
For more information, please see:
Fox News – HIV-infected School Aide Accused of Sexually Victimizing 42 Children in Maryland – 24 October 2017
NY Daily News – Former Maryland School Aide Who Is HIV Positive Sexually Assaulted 42 Boys, Police Say – 23 October 2017
WJLA – HIV Positive Former Md. Coach Indicted on 206 Counts; 42 Alleged Victims Reported – 23 October 2017
WJLA – Former Md. School Coach Charged with Child Porn, Assault on Male Students, Has HIV – 28 July 2017
Author: Sarah Louise Purtill
is a second-year law student at Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL). In addition to being an Impunity Watch News Reporter, she is an Associate Editor for the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce. Sarah is the Media Managing Editor for Syracuse Law and Civic Engagement Forum as well as the Treasurer for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity’s Carmody Chapter at SUCOL. She is also serving her second term as a Class Senator for the Student Bar Association at SUCOL. Sarah is a student attorney at the Elder and Health Law Clinic of SUCOL. Sarah graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Honors Program in June of 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Minor in History. Sarah expects to graduate with her Juris Doctor from SUCOL in May of 2019.