Carlos Deangelo Bell, an HIV-positive former coach and instructional assistant, pleaded guilty Friday to 27 counts on charges relating to child sexual abuse involving dozens of victims, according to Charles County, Maryland officials.
Bell could be sentenced to up to 190 years in prison. After the plea agreement, 42 victims will be spared from having to testify in court in the case.
Bell, who worked as a La Plata High School track coach and instructional assistant with the Charles County School District, was arrested at his home last July following a six-month investigation.
He was removed from his jobs as an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Waldorf and an indoor track coach at nearby La Plata High School late last year when the probe began.
Investigators said some of the victims were tested for HIV last year, but police were not aware of any tests that came back positive.
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.
Investigators sent Bell’s electronic devices from work and from home to the Maryland State Police crime lab, which recovered sexually explicit images involving the boys, Richardson said.
“Some of the evidence … included graphic images of Bell sexually assaulting victims. Some of the crimes appeared to have been committed on school property, and others at his home in Waldorf,” Berry said.
He was later indicted on 206 counts and 10 federal charges including child pornography. The 206-count indictment covered 28 identified alleged victims and 14 unidentified alleged victims, according to the state’s attorney’s office for Charles County, Maryland.
According to court documents, Bell did “knowingly employ, use, persuade, induce, and entice children to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual description of such conduct.”
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