An HIV-positive Maryland man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing several students while working in four different schools.
Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, has pleaded guilty to 27 counts of charges ranging from sexual abuse of a minor, attempted transmission of HIV, and child pornography, the Daily Mail reported.
Bell worked as a teacher's aide at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and as a track coach at La Plata high School. He was also an employee at JP Ryon Elementary and McDonough High School.
According to the Daily Mail, Bell has abused 42 victims since May 2015. The victims' ages ranged from 11 to 17 years old. Police learned about the abuse after receiving a tip from a parent in December about questionable behavior between Bell and a student on the track team.
"A parent observed suspicious text messages on a child's phone that were sexual in nature," Sheriff Troy Berry said, the Daily Mail reports.
After his arrest, Bell told police he is HIV positive. Berry told WRC that the victims were all boys, "mostly middle schoolers and pre-adolescent students."
Berry said they are not aware of any victims who have contracted HIV as a result of Bell's abuse, but added that testing will continue.
Investigators found child pornography on Bell's electronic devices, including graphic images of Bell abusing children. One of the videos showed Bell having sex with a student inside of a classroom.
"Some of the crimes appear to have been committed on school property, and others at his home in Waldorf," Berry said.
Charles County School Superintendent Kimberly Hill said Bell has not worked for a school in the district since Dec. 22, 2016.
"In an organization that is all about children, these allegations are horrifying," Hill said. "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."
Hill added that the school district will offer support and counseling to the victims, and that the district will launch a review of safety protocols and their policy regarding sexual harassment.
Bell will be sentenced in March. Prosecutors are reportedly aiming to place him behind bars for the remainder of his life with a sentence of up to 190 years, the Daily Mail reports.
Sources: Daily Mail, WRC / Featured Image: David Woo/Flickr / Embedded Images: Charles County Sheriff and Google Maps via Daily Mail