- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Deonte Carraway, the man who admitted he had pornographically exploited a dozen Prince George’s County schoolchildren, now claims the justice system is exploiting his rights.

Carraway pleaded guilty to federal charges, but he has asked that the state charges against him be dropped, and he has complained that his speedy-trial rights have been violated. He also has accused his defense lawyer of failing to represent his “best” interests.

Carraway is scheduled to appear Thursday for a hearing before Prince George’s Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard in Upper Marlboro, where he faces 270 state charges.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in August on the federal charges.

Carraway’s claims that his rights are being exploited appeared in a letter dated June 12 and addressed to Circuit Court Judge Leo Green. Judge Green forwarded the letter to Judge Woodard.

In his “Dear Honorable Judge” letter, written on lined paper, Carraway said: “I, Deonte Carraway, feel that my lawyer is not representing me in my best interest, I’ve noticed that my Hicks [speedy trial] date has been violated because I have not signed any sort of paper waiving my Hicks date, and, if need be, I wish for a new attorney and that all charges be dropped.”

Carraway pleaded guilty in January to 15 federal charges of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. He faces up to 30 years in prison for each count.

Deonte Carraway abused at least 12 child victims. Fortunately, an alert relative checked a child’s smartphone, found an inappropriate photo and called the police. That call may have prevented more children from being abused,” then-U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said following the plea hearing. (Mr. Rosenstein is currently the deputy attorney general in the Justice Department.)

In his letter, Carraway also said: “I have sent multiple copies [of the letter] out to my family and other parties of this letter. My family will be reaching out to the media if my concerns are not addressed.”

Carraway also wrote that his actions should not “be taken as a threat.”

Over a five-month period beginning in August 2015, Carraway engaged in oral and anal sex with at least 12 children and used a cellphone to record them. He also directed children to engage in sex acts with one another. He provided the children with cellphones to record the sex acts and reached out to other children to participate in the videos.

Some of the sex crimes occurred inside Sylvania Woods Elementary School, where Carraway had been a paid school aide and a volunteer.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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