Former SMCPS employee charged with sex crimes from the 70’s

Photograph of Theodore NMN Bell from the timeframe of the offense(s) 

In September of 2018, St. Mary’s County Public Schools received information regarding possible assaults on children that occurred during the 1970’s by a former employee.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools immediately notified the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Criminal Investigations Division began an investigation into the allegations.

The investigation determined Theodore NMN Bell, age 73 of Glen Burnie, was employed as a teacher at White Marsh Elementary School in Mechanicsville, from 1972-1975.

At that time Bell resided in Leonardtown, but later moved out of the area. At this time, it does not appear any of the crimes occurred on the premises of the school.

Information developed during the investigation has led to Bell being charged with the following:

  • Sex Offense Second Degree/Underage Victim
  • Perverted Practice
  • Assault Second Degree

Due to the nature of Bell’s employment at the time, the possibility of additional victims exists.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may be a potential victim or anyone who has information on this matter to contact Detective James Bare at (301) 475-4200 extension *8118, or by email at

Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.