CHARLES COUNTY, Md. – A former school aide and track coach who was arrested for allegedly assaulting several male students pleaded guilty to 27 counts in Charles County, Md., on Jan. 5.
Carlos Bell, 30, was arrested on June 30 in connection with the production of child pornography and three counts of second-degree assault.
Bell is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2018. The maximum years he can be sentenced is 294 years, but officials say there is an agreement where Bell will serve no more than 190 years.
“There is no death penalty in Maryland anymore,” said Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington. “There’s not a life without parole for these types of charges. So, we had to have enough charges where realistically, if he’s sentenced to the max under this agreement, 190 years, the likelihood is that he will be in jail for the rest of his life.”
In a news conference on Friday, officials said Bell had 42 victims between the ages of 11 and 17. Only 34 of those victims have been identified.
“He misused that trust [as a teacher’s aide] to violate the most vulnerable people in our community, our children,” said Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry.
According to the sheriff’s office, an investigation began in December after a high school student’s parent raised concerns about “electronic messages” from Bell to her child.
Bell, who was an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and also the head indoor track coach at La Plata (Md.) High School, was immediately removed from the school and barred from coaching. Charles County Public Schools said Bell hasn’t worked in any school building since Dec. 22, 2016.
Officials said Bell later admitted to being HIV positive and evidence was recovered to corroborate his statement. As of now, investigators are not aware that any victims have contracted HIV and they will be offering testing.
Bell pled guilty to several different types of charges. They included sexual abuse of a minor, filming child pornography and attempted transmission of HIV.