Lawsuit: Md. school aide’s sex acts with kids happened in city building

WASHINGTON — A class-action lawsuit, filed against a Prince George’s County school after a volunteer aide was accused of capturing pornographic video of children there, claims the sex acts occurred in a city municipal building as well.

The suit was filed Thursday against the Prince George’s County Board of Education, Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School Principal Michelle Williams, and Deonte Carraway — the aide who is charged with 10 felonies, including making child pornography, soliciting children and child sexual abuse. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

The suit seeks monetary damages of a minimum of $75,000 for each victim. Police say 12 victims have been identified and it has received 30 calls to its tip line (301-772-4930).

The suit identifies “John Doe #2” — an 11-year-old fifth grader at the Glenarden, Maryland, school — as a victim and that Carraway “coerced [the 11-year-old] to engage in sexual acts with him on school property during school hours.”

Also, it alleges that the sexual acts occurred at Glenarden Municipal Center where Carraway hosted the school’s choir practice. “John Doe #2” participated in the choir, the suit says.

The two communicated through the Kik messaging app, according to the suit.

In a separate lawsuit filed by the same attorneys, the guardian of a 9-year-old student at the school sued the same parties after it said the boy’s uncle discovered images and messages Carraway had sent the boy using Kik.

Both suits say “Carraway’s abuse was common knowledge among students at Sylvania Woods. Parents and teachers at Sylvania Woods Elementary School had expressed concern and/or raised issues about Carraway’s predatory behavior to Principal Michelle Williams, but she took no action.”

Williams has been placed on administrative leave, school officials said Wednesday.

On Thursday night, parents were invited to a closed-door meeting at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary in Glenarden to give them the latest on the sex abuse case.  Members of the media were not allowed inside, but WTOP spoke with someone who was.

Clinton, who declined to give his last name, says he has two grandchildren who are current students at the school. Both police and school leaders were at the meeting.

“They answered quite a few questions, but they still left a lot of unanswered questions,” he said.

One of the questions he still wants answered? “How did he get total access to the children.  Unimpeded.”

One question he asked officials at the meeting was, “Did you get everybody?”

Leaders told him they couldn’t talk about whether other school staffers were involved, because the investigation is ongoing.

“As far as who’s involved and what’s involved, we’re not getting past ‘We’ve got people in place to help you and your child,'” he said.

He calls that “somewhat understandable” and was glad to hear at the meeting that the victims and families in the case were being given the most information about the investigation.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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