On Jan. 5, 2018, a former Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employee pleaded guilty to 27 charges in Circuit Court for Charles County. Carlos Bell, a former instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, was arrested June 30, 2017, on charges of sexual assault and the production of child pornography. He is set to be sentenced in March. The State’s Attorney’s Office said Bell will also plead guilty to federal charges later in January. After his arrest in June 2017, Charles County State’s Attorney Tony Covington released a 119-count grand jury indictment July 31, including multiple counts of sexual abuse and other crimes against children. On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Grand Jury for Charles County returned a 206-count indictment for Bell of Waldorf. This third indictment against Bell includes the previous allegations found in two prior indictments filed on June 30, 2017 and July 28, 2017, as well as charges for additional victims uncovered during the ongoing investigation.
In December 2016, a La Plata High School parent contacted the Charles County Sheriff’s Office regarding inappropriate messages sent by Bell to her child. Bell was the head indoor track coach at La Plata at the time. CCPS was notified of the report and the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.
Bell was first employed by CCPS in September 2014. In addition to Stoddert and La Plata, he also worked briefly at J.P. Ryon Elementary School and as the 2015-16 school year indoor track coach at Maurice J. McDonough High School.
Update 4:12 p.m.- In a press conference today, officials announced Carlos Bell has plead guilty to 27 counts from the latest indictment. The maximum sentence for the 27 counts is 294 years, however with the agreement to plead guilty; authorities have agreed to 190 years. Sentencing has been set for March 28, 2018 in Charles County Circuit Court.
According to officials, Bell will be entering a plea in the Federal charges against him on January 23, 2018.
More to come…
La Plata, MD- Charles County officials have said Carlos Bell, a former Charles County school assistant , has plead guilty. Bell was indicted on 206 charges late last year relating to the 42 juveniles he was accused of sexually assaulting. Twenty eight of the 42 victims have been identified.
The Charles County State Attorney Office says it will be seeking life in prison. Bell was due to begin his trial Monday.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office are scheduled to make an announcement and to provide details of the guilty plea at 4 pm today.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.