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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Former Aide at a Prince George’s County Elementary School Facing Federal and State Charges Related to Sexual Abuse of Multiple Children

Alert Relative Checked Child’s Smartphone and Prevented More Abuse

Greenbelt, Maryland – Deonte Carraway, age 22, of Glenarden, Maryland, was charged by federal criminal complaint today with eight counts of producing child pornography, involving six minor victims ranging in age from nine to 11 years old. An indictment was also returned today in Prince George’s County Circuit Court charging Carraway with child sexual abuse; second degree sex offense; attempted second degree sex offense; third degree sex offense; fourth degree sex offense; and second degree assault.  Carraway was a “Dedicated Assistant” for Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Prince George’s County. 

The investigation is ongoing and investigators are asking anyone with information about possible victims or details about Mr. Carraway to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“Many criminals take advantage of anonymous internet messaging services to transmit child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “One alert relative checked a child’s smartphone, found a naked photo and called the police. That call may have prevented more children from being abused.”

“Today’s indictment is for one victim, but we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that Mr. Carraway is held accountable for his actions, said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.  “It is my hope that we will be able to do this with as minimal impact as possible to the children so that we can help them and their families begin the healing process from these unspeakable incidents.”

“We are asking the public to continue coming forward in this case because there could be additional victims out there.  We need people to call 1800-CALL-FBI.  No matter how insignificant you think your information may be, please call,” said Kevin Perkins, Special Agent in Charge, FBI- Maryland.  “Parents and primary caregivers are the first and most important line of defense against such terrible crimes.  You know your child better than anyone else.  Continue to be part of their lives and know who else is.”

“The manpower devoted to this case is on par with some of the most complex cases this police department has ever worked. Investigators have already spent more than 3,000 hours talking with victims, witnesses and family members and examining evidence. The ultimate goal is to ensure justice is served for each and every affected child and his or her loved ones,” said Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

The affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint alleges that from October 11, 2015 through January 8, 2016, on at least eight separate occasions Carraway coerced and persuaded multiple children to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce videos of that conduct.  Carraway met several of the victims at the school where he worked and other victims reported that Carraway recruited them from his choir group.

According to the affidavit, Prince George’s County Police arrested Carraway on February 4, 2016, after the family member of one of Carraway’s victims found a sexually explicit photo the victim had sent to Carraway using the Kik messenger application on his phone. Kik lets users send text, pictures, and videos within the Kik app. Kik users are identified by usernames rather than phone numbers. According to the affidavit, Carraway also used Kik to communicate with other victims. On February 11, 2016, a federal search warrant was signed authorizing a search of Carraway’s cellular phones and other digital items.  A subsequent forensic analysis of one of Carraway’s cellular phones revealed approximately 38 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including the videos that are the basis of these federal charges. The videos were taken using Carraway’s cell phone and were recorded at the homes of some of the victims and in the basement of a residence. The videos include Carraway engaging in sexual activity with victims, as well as directing the victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct. 

According to the affidavit, law enforcement interviewed the victims who reported that Carraway engaged in, and directed other instances of sexually explicit conduct involving the victims, some of which Carraway allegedly videotaped, including at the school where he worked.   

Carraway faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for each of the eight counts of production of child pornography.  No court appearance has been scheduled in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  Carraway remains detained on the related state charges.

An indictment or criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment or criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

The case is being investigated by the FBI Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat sex crimes involving children, made up of members from ten state and federal law enforcement agencies.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.              

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks commended the FBI and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel C. Gardner and Kristi N. O’Malley, who are prosecuting the federal case.

Topic: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 23, 2016