A former Prince George’s County, Md. teacher’s aide who allegedly enticed young children to perform sex acts with him and on each other was indicted by a grand jury June 28 on 270 counts of sex abuse charges.
Deonte Carraway, 22, a former staff member at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden, Md., faces 23 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, 40 counts of first degree sex offense, 41 counts of second degree sex offense, 44 counts of third degree sex offense, 66 counts of allowing child pornography, and 56 counts of possessing child pornography. Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks detailed the charges in a June 29 press conference.
Prosecutors allege that Carraway abused 23 children both on and off school property between August 2015 and February 2016. According to the 116-page indictment, Carraway coerced 20 boys and three girls ages 9 to 13 to perform sexual acts on himself and each other and recorded them on his phone.
According to The Washington Post, the indictment was built largely on the more than 100 recorded videos, in an effort to prevent any of the young victims from having to testify and potentially further traumatize them.
“This particular indictment has been crafted in such a way that we are hoping to minimize the impact on the children; the counts on these cases we hope to avoid having the minor children who are further traumatized to come into court,” said Alsobrooks. “We’re hoping that these cases can be resolved because of the production of the pornography and because of the devices that were used. We’re hoping to prosecute these cases that will not further harm the children in this case.”
Carraway was charged earlier this year by federal authorities with 13 related counts, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has been imprisoned since his Feb. 6 arrest; bail has been denied.
The indictment came as Alsobrooks said her office is conducting an investigation into whether any school staff knew of the abuse and failed to report it, and should face charges themselves as a result.
“Laws are not as strong in this area,” Alsobrooks said. “How did this occur? Did anyone know about this? Are there other individuals that should be held accountable?”
According to the Post, the case has resulted in at least six civil lawsuits, including a class-action lawsuit against Prince George’s County Public Schools.
Alsobrooks said the indictment was the largest her office had prepared during her tenure. She said she plans to travel to Annapolis when Maryland lawmakers reconvene in January to seek additional laws to protect children.