CHARLES COUNTY, Md. - A former Charles County school assistant who pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of producing child pornography and already faces over 100 years in prison has been sentenced to 190 additional years on state charges Tuesday.
Carlos Bell, 30, admits he coerced children at Charles County Middle School and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School to engage in sex so he could produce child pornography. Last week, Bell was sentenced to 105 years in prison on federal charges.
Bell was sentenced to 190 years on state charges Tuesday morning for trying to transmit HIV to dozens of children and teens.
In a Greenbelt courtroom last week, Bell told the judge he was sorry for what he had done before he was sentenced. Prosecutors had asked for 150 years while the defense asked for 30 years. Judge Paul Grim handed down the 105-prison sentence and said the sentence needed to protect the public.
"Carlos did, in fact, apologize to the victims' families and it was very important for him to do that and he wanted to make sure that they understood he was very sorry about what happened," Bell's defense attorney James Crawford said. "I also explained to Judge Grim that this young man (Carlos Bell) had been abused in many, many ways, including physically, psychologically and sexually since he was a young kid. It started with pornography at 7 or 8 years of age and there is no question that this was a situation where what happened to him was mirrored in many ways as what he did as an adult."
On Jan. 23, Bell pleaded guilty to 10 counts of producing child pornography involving unnamed students from Benjamin Stoddert Middle School in Charles County. According to the plea agreement, from January 2014 to December 2016, Bell used and coerced 10 minors to engage in sexually explicit acts for the purpose of producing child pornography.
It was revealed in court that Bell had also beaten the victims in a ritualistic attempt to mirror gang-style initiations.
On Jan. 5, Bell pleaded guilty in state court to 27 counts of sexual abuse of a minor along with a slew of other serious crimes after being indicted on 206 charges involving 42 juveniles. He faces 190 years in prison in connection with those counts during his sentencing Tuesday.
According to police, Bell, who officials said is HIV positive, sexually assaulted the students while not wearing protection. Officials said the victims ranged in age from 11 to 17 years old and said, thankfully, none of the students had tested positive for HIV.