A school assistant and track coach in Maryland pleaded guilty to 27 counts of sexually assaulting students, filming child pornography and attempting to transmit HIV.
Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, was indicted on 206 counts of sexual assault and was accused of abusing 42 underage individuals. Charles County officials say that not all of the victims have been identified, WTXF reports.
The victims range in age from 11 to 17 years old. They were assaulted at a middle school, Bell's home and other locations between May 2015 and July 2017.
Despite not wearing protection and being HIV positive, none of the assaulted children are reported to have contracted HIV from Bell.
The investigation into Bell's behavior began in December 2016 when detectives were sent a tip about "possible inappropriate behavior with a student while he was coaching track," the Charles County Sheriff's Office said.
"A student's parent observed suspicious text messages on their child's phone that were sexual in nature," Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry explained.
Sheriff's office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said that the Maryland State Police Crime lab uncovered sexually explicit images of young boys on Bell's electronic devices.
"Some of the evidence ... included graphic images of Bell sexually assaulting victims," Barry said. "Some of the crimes appeared to have been committed on school property, and others at his home."
WTXF reports that Bell was removed from his assistant job at a middle school and coaching position at a high school on Dec. 22, 2016.
Bell was initially arrested on June 30, 2017, on charges of sexually abusing at least seven boys, most of whom were middle-school aged, WLS reports. On Jan. 5, he pleaded guilty to assaulting 42.
"You really can't imagine what had to be gone through when investigating this case," said Charles County State Attorney Tony Covington, who added that the maintaining the privacy of the victims was one of his priorities.
Bell will face sentencing on Mar. 28. Covington said that he is hoping to sentence Bell to life in prison. WUSA reports that while the maximum sentence is 284 years, prosecutors are planning to recommend 190 years.
"There is no death penalty in Maryland anymore," said 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."