On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Polk County Sheriff’s Computer Crimes Unit undercover detectives arrested 41-year-old Anthony “Tony” DeSilva (DOB 11/28/1970) of 23 Fairfield Street in Acushnet, Massachusetts, and charged him with 10 counts Use of Computer To Seduce A Child (F-3); 3 counts Use of Computer To Seduce a Child While Misrepresenting Age (F-2); 2 counts Traveling to Meet a Minor (F-2); 2 counts Encouraging a Child to Engage in Sexual Performance (F-2); 1 count Transmission of Material Harmful To A Child (F-3); and 57 counts Use of a Two-Way Device to Facilitate a Felony (F-3).
According to the affidavit, the investigation began earlier this year when the mother of a 16-year-old Polk County boy contacted PCSO in reference to a Massachusetts man named Tony she believed was soliciting her son online, through Facebook. Detectives asked for, and received, permission from the woman to pose as her son online to continue conversing with the suspect online.
During the online and text conversations, DeSilva sent naked images of himself to the “boy” and in graphic details described what he would like to do sexually to the “boy.” DeSilva also told the “boy” that he is a hockey coach for a junior hockey club team, the Massachusetts Maple Leafs, with players 20 years of age and younger (the youngest player listed on the junior hockey club website is 16 years old). He also made references to coaching baseball.
During the same time frame, DeSilva also began soliciting another Polk County teenaged boy, whom the PCSO undercover detective also asked for, and received, permission to pose as online. The detective had conversations with DeSilva posing as two different 16-year-old Polk County boys, during which DeSilva solicited both young men online to perform sex acts and to send him nude photos of themselves.
On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, PCSO detectives, assisted by officers from the New Bedford (MA) Police Department and Massachusetts State Police troopers took DeSilva into custody at his home. He was booked into the Ash Street Jail in Dartmouth. PCSO also served a search warrant at the home, and further charges are pending the outcome of the search warrant.
During a post-Miranda interview, DeSilva told detectives that he knew the two boys he was chatting with online and via text were 16-years-old. DeSilva also told detectives that he is employed at a group home for the mentally challenged, owned by CRJ Community Resource Justice. He said he works the midnight shift.
DeSilva was brought back to Polk County and booked into the Polk County Jail on Friday, November 16, 2012. He remains in the jail on no bond.
“We have said over and over that parents are our first line of defense against sexual offenders and predators. Here is a perfect example of that. The mother of this Polk County victim absolutely did the right thing by contacting us as soon as she suspected that a sexual predator was soliciting her child online. It doesn’t matter where these sexual predators live – the Internet brings them right into your home, soliciting your children, and we will continue to do everything we can to put them behind bars.” – Sheriff Grady Judd
Bio for Tony DeSilva, from the Massachusetts Maple Leafs website: http://www.massmapleleafs.com/newsite09/teamstaff.htm
Head Coach/GM ESHL Team
Tony DeSilva is the Mass Maple Leafs Head Coach of the ESHL Junior team and General Manager of the organization. DeSilva has extensive experience in high level hockey. He has owned/coached the Maple Leafs Junior Hockey team since its inception in 1997-98. Over the course of the last 14 seasons, DeSilva has accrued over 600 wins, seven league championships, and seven Junior National Championship appearances, with three of those resulting in Championships. His most important number is the more than 160 players that he has advanced to a higher level of hockey with his program. Tony DeSilva has recruited and scouted for several North American Hockey League Teams (Tier 2 Junior A) DeSilva has also had Assistant Coaching stints with Bishop Stang, Greater New Bedford VTHS, and Fairhaven High School, in the 80’s and early 90’s.