GREENBELT, Md. - A former Prince George’s County school volunteer accused of sexually exploiting and abusing children has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Deonte Carraway came into the second-floor courtroom of the federal courthouse on Monday dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit. In a proceeding that lasted just over an hour, he admitted to recording children engaged in sex acts inside the elementary school where he volunteered.
In a plea deal unsealed on Monday, Carraway has agreed to a prison sentence of at least 60 years.
The statement of facts included in the plea agreement said Carraway recorded the children inside the band room and a backroom of Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School last year on two different Wednesdays – on Jan. 6 and Jan. 27.
The document also said Carraway had sex with and recorded other victims in the bedroom, basement and bathrooms of residences from October 2015 to February 2016.
There was no mention of any sexual abuse taking place in the Glenarden Community Center where Carraway had formed a choir.
"This is a horrendous, awful case that involves despicable conduct,” said Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. “Mr. Carraway has admitted in the federal plea agreement that he abused at least 12 children between the ages of 9 and 14. He is also charged in state court with abusing additional children – approximately between 9 and 11 additional victims in the state case. Those charges remain pending.”
Prosecutors said Carraway used phone messenger apps Kik and ooVoo to send and receive videos and gave the children cell phones to record themselves. We also learned Carraway had formed a club with the children with the acronym AKA and told them if they wanted to join the club, they would have to send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves.
"Our top priority is to protect the victims and try to minimize any additional trauma to them, so the consequence of this plea today is that those children will not be required to testify in federal court,” said Rosenstein. “They can go on with their recoveries.”
Carraway was ultimately exposed when a relative of one child found a naked photograph of that child on a cell phone and immediately contacted authorities.
As the hearing ended, FOX 5 briefly spoke with a relative of one of the victims who said she was satisfied with what she heard in the courtroom. Other relatives declined to comment.
The U.S. Aattorney said what Carraway has agreed to is in effect a life sentence. Carraway will be sentenced on June 5.
He is also facing charges in state court where a 270-count indictment awaits.