A former Maryland school official was sentenced to 105 years on federal child pornography charges. According to reports, Carlos DeAngelo Bell pled guilty to persuading children to engage in sexual activities in order to create pornography from 2014 to 2016. Ten minors were involved.
During earlier proceedings, Bell pled guilty to the attempted transmission of HIV and other child-abuse charges. In a written letter to the Washington Post, one parent wrote in length that she now takes her son to get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. She explained she’s seen her child’s grades decline and he’s become more withdrawn because of Bell.
Judge Paul W. Grimm told Bell during sentencing his crime was an egregious act of betrayal against students who had no reason not to trust him.
Bell’s previous employment history includes J.P. Ryon Elementary School and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. The investigation into Bell began in December 2016 when a high school student’s parent grew concerned about electronic messages sent between her child and Bell. Once Bell’s HIV status was confirmed, parents became more concerned.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Hagan also said that some of Bell’s victims were also physically abused. While Bell’s lawyer, James E. Crawford Jr. agreed his client deserved his sentencing, his actions were a result of his own abuse.
“In many ways, his actions are a mirror for what he went through,” Crawford told the judge. “He’s a human being. He’s an individual. He doesn’t deserve to be thrown away.”