GREENBELT, Md. - Federal charges were announced Tuesday afternoon against the Maryland school volunteer in a child pornography investigation that involved students. Deonte Carraway went before a grand jury on Tuesday morning, and is now facing eight counts of federal charges as well as state charges.
United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein said Carraway is charged with eight counts of federal violations for the production of child pornography. Rosenstein pointed out that the maximum sentence for each of those eight counts is life in prison, but the minimum, mandatory sentence was 15 years for each count -- or 120 total years in prison.
The new charges detail allegations that Carraway engaged in sex acts with children, and also directed them to perform sex acts he recorded on video. These incidents allegedly took place at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School, Glenarden Municipal Center, Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center, Zion Praise Tabernacle Lutheran Church, and in private homes.
Rosenstein credited the diligence of one alert family member that brought it all to light. He said on February 4, a relative of one of the alleged victims found a photo on a child's phone, and immediately reported it to police. Rosenstein said within 24 hours of that report, Carraway was in custody.
The children involved in the allegations that resulted in the federal charges range from 9 to 11 years old, six whom are alleged to have been abused. Rosenstein said the incidents involved the children either having sex with the defendant, or with each other, after being prompted or encouraged by Carraway.
Rosenstein said many of the details were too graphic to release to the public, but he did detail the story of one alleged victim, whom he said Carraway took out of a classroom at the school. He said the child was taken to a dressing room, where Carraway told the child to take his clothes off, and when the child refused, Carraway allegedly threatened him that he would be reported to the principal or the police if he did not comply.
Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced six counts filed against Carraway by the state, and those charges relate to the crimes against one alleged victim.
"I think it is an understatement to say how absolutely reprehensible the actions are in this case – Mr. Carraway's actions,” said Alsobrooks. “These charges have kept many of us up at night quite literally. We have heard from this community. They are suffering greatly. This is devastating case."
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski stressed that the number of victims, which has been confirmed to be at least 17 children, and the number of locations where these incidents took place remain under investigation. More than 40 child porn videos have been discovered in the case to date.
With both federal and state charges filed, the question is which one would go to court first. Under federal law, the child victims would not have to testify in court. State and federal officials are deciding which course would be best for the victims to prosecute Carraway in.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Perkins said they are still searching for additional victims, and asked anyone with information to call them at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Carraway, 22, had already been charged with multiple counts of sex offenses and child pornography in Prince George's County. He is currently being held on $1 million bond at the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections.