Former PGCPS elementary school aide charged in child porn case to appear in court Monday

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Deonte Carraway, 22, abused at least 17 children. (Photo Courtesy) 

A former elementary school volunteer arrested in a child pornography case involving at least 23 children is scheduled to appear in federal court next week for a plea hearing, public court files show.

It is not clear from the records whether Deonte Carraway, 23, intends to admit guilt in the wide-reaching case that roiled Prince George’s County. Online court records show a hearing is scheduled for a “Guilty Plea-Arraignment Hearing” in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

The government has accused Carraway of persuading and directing several children to engage in sexual activities that were recorded on cellphones, with Carraway supplying some of the phones.

Some of the videos and alleged sex acts occurred on the campus of Judge Sylvania W. Woods Sr. Elementary School in Glenarden, Md., during the school day, federal prosecutors charge. Police and prosecutors said incidents also took place in private homes, a church, a public pool and a Glenarden government building, with Carraway leveraging his position as a teacher’s aide, school volunteer and community choir director to coerce the children involved.

No tentative plea agreement has been listed in public court files.

Plea agreements can be rescinded. A judge would need to accept any guilty plea at a public hearing.

Monday’s scheduled hearing comes almost one year after Carraway’s Feb. 4 arrest. Carraway pleaded not guilty at his first federal court hearing in March.

A federal grand jury indicted Carraway on 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. The federal charges involve 12 children. Carraway also faces 270 counts of child pornography and related charges in Prince George’s County. All told, local and federal investigators have said they believe Carraway abused at least 23 children between the ages of 9 and 13 over a year.

Carraway told police he gave children phones and told them to send explicit images of themselves through an anonymous messaging app, according to federal and local charging papers. Carraway’s federal public defenders have said in court filings that Carraway’s confession to the incidents should be considered invalid because he did not give it voluntarily and did not fully understand his rights when speaking with law enforcement.

The case shocked the Prince George’s County school system and angered Woods Elementary parents, who questioned why Carraway was allegedly allowed to be alone with students.

After Carraway’s arrest, the county school system created a task force to review how employees are trained to identify and report suspected child abuse. The task force issued a report in May, saying the system should make sweeping improvements to better protect students.

The criminal case has spawned at least nine civil suits against the school system or Glenarden officials, including at least one class-action lawsuit.

Via Washington Post 

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