A former Maryland school aide and coach who is HIV-positive has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting several students and recording some of the assaults, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said.
Charles Deangelo Bell, 30, was arrested in connection with the production of child pornography and three counts of second-degree assault, according to a release from the department on Monday.
He allegedly assaulted at least 10 boys who were mostly of middle school age, according to NBC 4 Washington.
Bell, a resident of Waldorf, Md., was arrested at his home on Friday after a six-month investigation. He is being held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Additional charges are “forthcoming,” according to the department.
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Some of the victims have already been tested for HIV and others are expected to be tested soon. There haven’t been any positive tests so far, according to CNN.
Bell hasn’t worked his jobs as an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and as a track coach at La Plata High School since Dec. 22, 2016, according to NBC 4 Washington.
Charles County sheriff’s detectives started to investigate Bell when they received a tip of “possible inappropriate behavior with a student while he was coaching track,” the release said. After finding no evidence on his work computer, investigators served a search warrant at Bell’s home and recovered his home computer and other electronics and sent the devices to the Maryland State Police crime lab.
“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," Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry told CNN.
After his arrest, Bell told law enforcement that he is HIV-positive. Officials later confirmed the diagnosis, according to the sheriff’s department.
Charles County Public Schools superintendent Kimberly Hill apologized to parents after news of the allegations.
“In an organization that is all about children, these allegations are horrifying,” Hill told NBC 4 Washington. “To our parents and our community, who put their faith and trust in us to safeguard their children, I apologize on behalf of Charles County Public Schools. Student safety is job one, and clearly we have work to do to make sure that this will never happen again.”
The school district will provide victims with support and counseling, Hill told NBC 4 Washington.