Police: School Aide in Child Porn Case Victimized Children in Church | NBC4 Washington

Police: School Aide in Child Porn Case Victimized Children in Church

Police say the man has admitted to producing child pornography, and his family released a statement expressing their "extreme shock and deepest sorrow"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Prince George's County Police said there are 14 victims in the abuse case involving former teacher's aide Deonte Carraway. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports. (Published Friday, Feb. 12, 2016)

    Police say two more children were victims of a school volunteer and youth choir director who they say made child pornography in a Maryland school -- bringing the total number of alleged victims so far to 14.

    And, police say, one of the locations where Deonte Carraway victimized the children was a church.

    Police have not yet identified the church or said what they believe Carraway did there. They said he's also accused of victimizing children in Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary, the Glenarden Municipal Center, the Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatic Center and in private homes.

    Carraway, 22, of Glenarden, is accused of having filmed "vile sexual acts" between children ages 9 to 13. Earlier Friday, sources told News4 that Carraway had a juvenile sex offense record from his early teens, sources say.

    Parents React to School Child Porn Investigation

    Parents React to School Child Porn Investigation
    Parents in Prince George's County spoke with officials Thursday night about a school aide charged with making child pornography during the school day. "We go to work hoping that everything is safe, and we don't feel any safety now," one dad said. News4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016)

    Sources told News4 on Friday about his apparent juvenile sex offense record. It wasn't immediately clear what the offense entailed.

    Nothing criminal was found in Carraway's background check before he started working for the school in November 2014, officials have said.

    Carraway was arrested Feb. 5 after after the uncle of a 9-year-old boy saw a disturbing image on the child's phone, in the app Kik, police said. Carraway admitted to being involved in producing child pornography, police said. 

    On Friday, Carraway's family released a statement expressing their "extreme shock and deepest sorrow."

    Pastor of Maryland Child Porn Suspect Speaks

    Pastor of Maryland Child Porn Suspect Speaks
    Deonte Carraway's pastor said, looking back, he sees red flags in the young man's behavior. Carraway is accused of making child pornography inside the school where he volunteered. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports. (Published Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016)

    "As a family who loves him dearly, we must stress that we do not condone the behaviors in question that has victimized numerous families and brought unimaginable fear and sadness to our community as a whole. Our prayers and thoughts are with the innocent victims and their families during this trying time," the statement read in part.

    The family said they were "in complete support of the ongoing legal investigation" and they will help law enforcement however they can.

    Michelle Williams, the principal at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary, has been placed on leave.

    The family of the 9-year-old boy filed a lawsuit Wednesday, claiming the child was told by Carraway that he would be part of a "club" if he participated in sex acts the school volunteer filmed. 

    The boy's family said misconduct by Carraway had been reported but that Williams took no action, saying teachers had no proof.

    Prince George's County Public School officials told parents on Thursday officials will work to ensure children's safety.

    "I, like many, was shocked, appalled, disgusted, and disheartened by the allegations that a former PGCPS employee harmed students and vulnerable children," school district CEO Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell said.

    The family of another alleged victim, an 11-year-old boy in the choir at Judge Sylvania Woods named only as John Doe 2, filed for a class-action lawsuit on Thursday against the Prince George's County school board and the school's principal.

    The family's lawyer, David Simpson, said the case against Carraway seems to be growing.

    "Unfortunately, the more we keep looking, the more we keep finding and the broader the whole matter seems to be getting," he said.

    Parents flocked to the school Thursday night for a meeting with administrators.

    "We go to work hoping that everything is safe, and we don't feel any safety now," one father said.

    Carraway's pastor, Dr. Henry Davis of First Baptist Church of Highland Park, said that looking back, he sees some red flags in the young man's behavior.

    "The strange part was that I never knew his family. He used to come by himself," Davis said.

    Carraway was always alone at the church, the pastor said.

    Parents at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary said at the school he was often surrounded by kids.

    "He was just always around children -- at the playground, walking to and from school with them," mother Monique Ganntte previously said.

    Anyone aware of other possible victims should call Prince George's County police at 301-772-4930, or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

    Carraway's family released the following statement:

    "First and foremost, we would like to express our extreme shock and deepest sorrow over the actions of Deonte Carraway that have been reported over the last few days. As a family who loves him dearly, we must stress that we do not condone the behaviors in question that has victimized numerous families and brought unimaginable fear and sadness to our community as a whole. Our prayers and thoughts are with the innocent victims and their families during this trying time. We ask that the media takes into account that we are also victims of what has transpired and respect our privacy as we continue to cope with this new reality. Lastly, we want the public to know that we are in complete support of the ongoing legal investigation and will continue to assist law enforcement in any way we can. Please keep our family in your prayers."

    Here's what PGCPS officials said in an update Thursday that they will do to keep students safe:

    At the administrative level, PGCPS leaders met with the Judge Sylvania Woods community to share information on the incident and review policies and procedures for reporting abuse and suspicious activity. Counseling and psychological support will be provided to students and families upon request, and those services will remain in place as long as they are needed. A second meeting will take place at the school this evening.

    Dr. Maxwell will also convene a taskforce of internal and external partners to review current policies and procedures and identify areas of immediate improvement. The district will also consult with national experts in this field to ensure the taskforce recommendations are aligned with best practices from across the country.

    Next week, staff from the PGCPS Office of General Counsel will address principals during a systemic principals' meeting and review all laws, policies, and procedures related to an employee's obligation to report abuse and suspicious behavior.

    At the school level, principals will hold mandatory meetings with staff to review the August 2015 training materials and October 2015 memorandum on procedures for reporting abuse and suspicious activities. Professional school counselors will reach out to students and conduct lessons in the classroom that address the differences between appropriate and inappropriate physical contact; personal body safety rules and when to use them; and how to identify trusted adults to whom they can report when they feel unsafe.

    "We will work closely with our community partners and use all possible resources to foster a safe and supportive environment for all students and families," added Dr. Maxwell. "It goes without saying that these type of acts are intolerable and unacceptable."

    If parents or community members have any additional information regarding this case, they should call 1-800-CALL-FBI.