Allen Edward Mitchell
Wicomico State's Attorney's Office
January 14, 2019 01:48 PM

A Maryland high school guidance counselor was arrested on 15 criminal charges, including second-degree rape and soliciting child pornography, PEOPLE confirms.

According to a news release by a local children’s advocacy center — which is co-signed by the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office — Allen Edward Mitchell, 32, was arrested on Friday on charges including second-degree rape, fourth-degree sex offenses, soliciting child pornography and perverted practice.

Mitchell, of Fruitland, was held without bond due to the serious nature of the charges, according to local USA Today affiliate DelmarvaNow.com.

The investigation is looking into alleged “multiple instances of misconduct with minors, to include the criminal use of social media applications,” according to the release.

In a statement received by PEOPLE, Dr. Donna Hanlin, Superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools, where Mitchell is employed, said, “This morning we were notified by the State’s Attorney’s Office that Allen Mitchell, a guidance counselor at James M. Bennett High School, has been arrested on numerous charges involving minors. Mitchell had previously been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. Wicomico County Public Schools is working in full cooperation with the State’s Attorney’s Office and with law enforcement on this matter.”

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“Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” the statement continued.

“Also, in accordance with our ‘See Something, Say Something’ message,  any person with information related to this matter is asked to contact the Wicomico County Child Advocacy Center or the Salisbury Police Department,” continued Hanlin.

As of Monday, Mitchell is still listed on the school’s staff directory website.

According to local station WBOC-16, Mitchell appeared at the Wicomico District Court on Monday at 9 a.m. It was not immediately clear if Mitchell has retained an attorney or entered a plea.

The Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County State Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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