Deonte Carraway, 22, faces 10 counts of child pornography in Prince George’s County. (Prince George's County Police Department)

TV reporter Marina Marraco got a big scoop last week when she conducted a jailhouse interview with a young Prince George’s County man accused of creating a series of child-pornography videos.

But Prince George’s officials have a problem with the way Marraco allegedly obtained her exclusive with Deonte Carraway, who faces 10 felony counts in the case. Namely, they say she misrepresented herself to gain access to Carraway, who apparently admitted his involvement in the crime to Marraco.

Marraco, a reporter for Fox5 (WTTG), and Fox5 news photographer Van Applegate spoke with Carraway for about an hour last week at a Prince George’s County jail, a conversation that wasn’t videotaped or recorded. According to a video Marraco posted later, she and Applegate were the first visitors other than Carraway’s public defender to speak with him since he was arrested last week.

Law-enforcement officials say, however, that Marraco and Applegate didn’t identify themselves as journalists when they arrived at the jail seeking to meet with Carraway. Instead, they say, the pair told guards that they were acquaintances of Carraway “from church” and showed personal identification — not their media credentials — to gain access to him.

Journalists in most cases are ethically obligated to identify themselves as members of the news media before interviewing sources or dealing with those who are their gatekeepers. The code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists advises reporters to “avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.”

There is no disagreement that Marraco and Applegate identified themselves as reporters once they reached Carraway, an ­elementary-school volunteer who police say victimized 17 children by recording them in approximately 40 pornographic videos. Both county officials and Marraco say Carraway was aware that he was speaking to journalists.

But there is some question about how they were able to get to him in the first place.

“The reporter and the photographer went into the jail and removed all identification of Fox5,” said a county official with knowledge of the incident. “They said they knew Mr. Carraway from church and wanted to see him. Once they were let in, then they identified who they were to Mr. Carraway.”

A spokesperson for Fox5, Claudia Russo, disputed that account, “Fox5 stands by our story and the process used to obtain the interview with Deonte Carraway.”

In a 38-minute video posted on her Facebook page last Thursday, and in a subsequent report on Fox5, Marraco described the encounter with Carraway, 22, of Glenarden. She said he admitted in the interview that he took cellphone recordings of children engaged in sex acts at a Prince George’s elementary school.

“He alleges he did not have any sort of sexual interaction with these children,” Marraco says in the video she posted. “And that he was only participating in the form that he was behind the camera and shooting these videos of these children.”

Applegate adds, “He was very candid with us. We made it overtly clear that we were media and it was our job to try to get all sides of the story. . . . He was appreciative of the fact that we were there to talk to him and to understand his side of the story.”

Later in the video, Marraco opines: “When you went to talk to him . . . it was almost like you caught a kid putting, like, his hand somewhere where he shouldn’t have been, and he knew it. And he admitted to it. But then he was also very adamant that he didn’t partake in these encounters sexually with any of these children.”

Marraco did not respond to requests for comment. Applegate referred a request for comment to the station.

Requests for media interviews with inmates in Prince George’s are typically routed through the Department of Corrections’ public information office, said Yolanda Evans, a spokeswoman for the office. The office then submits the request to the inmate, who signs a release, and also to his or her attorney. “That was not done in this case,” she said.

A county law-enforcement official, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak about the episode, said the Fox5 interview potentially could create a basis for Carraway’s defense to argue for a change of venue for his trial. He said it’s unlikely that the journalists broke any laws by their actions.

“Was it unlawful? No,” said the official. “Was it unethical? Sure.”