Press Conference January 5, 2018
Press Conference January 5, 2018
Press Conference July 31, 2017
Press Conference July 31, 2017
Press Conference July 3, 2017
Press Conference July 3, 2017
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On April 3, 2018, Carlos Bell, a former Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employee was sentenced in Circuit Court for Charles County to 350 years in prison with all but 190 years suspended. A little over a week before, on March 27, 2018, Bell, a former instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, was sentenced in federal court by a U.S. District Court judge to 105 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. On Jan. 5, 2018, Bell pleaded guilty to 27 charges in Circuit Court for Charles County. Bell was arrested June 30, 2017, on charges of sexual assault and the production of child pornography. After Bell’s arrest in June 2017, Charles County State's Attorney Tony Covington released a 119-count grand jury indictment July 31, including multiple counts of sexual abuse and other crimes against children. On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Grand Jury for Charles County returned a 206-count indictment for Bell of Waldorf. This third indictment against Bell includes the previous allegations found in two prior indictments filed on June 30, 2017, and July 28, 2017, as well as charges for additional victims uncovered during the ongoing investigation. 

In December 2016, a La Plata High School parent contacted the Charles County Sheriff’s Office regarding inappropriate messages sent by Bell to her child. Bell was the head indoor track coach at La Plata at the time. CCPS was notified of the report and the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Bell was first employed by CCPS in September 2014. In addition to Stoddert and La Plata, he also worked briefly at J.P. Ryon Elementary School and as the 2015-16 school year indoor track coach at Maurice J. McDonough High School.

As a parent or staff member, you may have questions regarding how you can support your children and students. Children may have questions that are difficult for you to answer. The information and resources below can assist you in talking about this recent event.


Any one sign does not mean a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin asking questions and consider seeking help. We encourage parents to talk with your children about the investigation, and if they report anything inappropriate whatsoever, call 1-800-225-5324. Parents can also call Child Protective Services at 301-392-6731 or call 911 to report possible child abuse.

All Charles County public schools have staff available during the school day to assist with questions or concerns parents may have regarding their child. This includes school counselors, school psychologists, pupil personnel workers and school administrators. Over the summer, concerned parents can contact the Department of Student Services at 301-934-7326.

HIV Testing

According to the police, Carlos Bell has been confirmed as HIV positive. The Charles County Department of Health is offering free confidential HIV testing for any child who may feel they are in need of a screening. Call Shelby McKimmie with the health department HIV testing program at 301-609-6953 to make an appointment. Click here for additional information about HIV testing at the Health Department.

Charles County Child Advocacy Center provides free therapy for victims of sexual abuse during and post-investigation through a federal Victims of Crime Act grant.  Please call 301-609-9887 and ask for Sara Ortiz, Victim Services Coordinator to make an appointment



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Mental Health/ Counseling Resources

Charles County Department of Health
4545 Crain Hwy, White Plains, MD 20695

Center for Children
6100 Radio Station Rd, La Plata, MD 20646

Tri-County Youth Services
Bureau 75 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf, MD 20602

National Child Abuse Hotline
24 hours a day, seven days a week

Charles County Department of Social Services
200 Kent Avenue, La Plata, MD 20646