Carlos Deangelo Bell, 30, was arrested on June 30 for several charges, including second-degree assault and child pornography.
Prior to his arrest, Bell was employed at numerous schools, most recently at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Charles County, Maryland. He was an instructional assistant, as well as a track coach.Screenshot/Fox 5 DC
According to Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., until a concerned parent checked her son’s phone and saw an inappropriate text message, Bell was never suspected of any criminal activity. Even after searching Bell’s work computer, police didn’t find anything suspicious.
The true crime was revealed once police investigated Bell’s personal devices and uncovered child pornography.
Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry told media:
“Some of the evidence found included graphic images of Bell sexually assaulting victims. Some of the crimes appear to have been committed on school property and others at his home in Waldorf. Investigators have identified some victims seen on the images and have obtained statements. So far we are aware of seven victims.”
Bell is HIV-positive and allegedly assaulted the students without using protection. So far, only two students have been tested, and thankfully, have both come back HIV-negative.
Dr. Kimberly Hill, the Charles County Superintendent of Schools, said:
“It is devastating to us that something like this could take place in a classroom, in a school building, where adults are charged with taking care of children. I can assure you there will be very persistent follow up for us to determine exactly what happened and how it was allowed to happen.”
The school was not the only one to miss what was truly going on. Bell’s neighbors reported that despite seeing kids filtering in and out of his home, they didn’t suspect anything. According to Fox 5, they said he “seemed like a nice guy.”Screenshot/Fox 5 DC
As this case is still developing, parents are asked to speak with their children if they had come into contact with Bell. Police believe that there are likely more victims that haven’t yet stepped forward.
There are many myths and stigmas surrounding the sexual assault of boys and men. For example, sexual abuse harms boys and girls differently. However, the difference in no way diminishes the trauma.
In fact, one in six men are sexually abused before the age of 18. According to the 1in6 website, these statistics are likely under-estimates, as men are even less likely than women to report their abuse. This is likely because of the stigma that surrounds male rape and sexual abuse, 1in6 reported:
It’s central to masculine gender socialization, and boys pick up on it very early in life. This myth implies that a boy or man who has been sexually used or abused will never be a “real man.” Our society expects males to be able to protect themselves. Successful men are depicted as never being vulnerable, either physically or emotionally.
Perpetrators of male sexual abuse are usually people close to the victim, someone with influence or power. For example a coach, teacher, religious leader, etc, may wield his or her influence using “whatever means are available to reduce resistance.”
Bell’s status as both a teacher and coach fits the description.
For parents who are concerned that their children may have been involved with Bell, call the FBI hotline for this case at: 1-800-225-5324.