ACUSHNET (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A 41-year-old hockey coach from Acushnet is accused of sending and soliciting nude photos during conversations with who he thought were teenage boys on the Internet.
Anthony DeSilva was arrested on Wednesday night on a warrant out of Florida for 10 counts of use of a computer to seduce a child and one count transmission of material harmful to a child.
Investigators in Polk County began posing as a 16-year-old boy after the teen's mother contacted them about interactions between her son and a man named "Tony" on Facebook.
Polk County investigators allege that "Tony," who they identify as DeSilva, sent nude photos of himself to who he thought was the teen on the Internet and in text messages.
Investigators claim DeSilva described in graphic detail sexual acts he would like to perform on the boy.
Investigators say they also connected with DeSilva while posing as two other 16-year-old boys from Polk County. They say in these conversations he solicited both teens to send nude photos of themselves to him and solicited them to perform sexual acts.
During the conversations, "Tony" reportedly said he was a coach for the Massachusetts Maple Leafs and made references to coaching baseball.
The Mass. Maple Leafs website lists "Tony" DeSilva as head coach of the ESHL Junior team and general manager of the organization. He has been at the helm of the team since it was created in 1997 and has accrued over 600 wins. Investigators say DeSilva coaches players between the ages of 16 and 20.
After his arrest, investigators say DeSilva told detectives that he knew the people he was chatting with were 16.
DeSilva is in Florida to face charges after being arraigned Thursday on a fugitive charge.
The Taunton Public Schools superintendent sent the following statement to parents:
It was brought to our attention that a Massachusetts Junior hockey coach, who served last year as an Assistant Hockey Coach at Taunton High School, was arraigned today on multiple charges issued in Polk County, Florida involving the use of a computer to seduce a child and one count of transmission of material harmful to a child. The individual has never held any other positions in the Taunton Public School system, and he is no longer affiliated with Taunton High School.
The safety and security of all students remains our top priority. Parents and caregivers of hockey players or others with concerns are asked to notify us immediately of any issues that may require further investigation. Student support services are available at Taunton High School or can be arranged through your child's guidance counselor if needed.
We are in the process of alerting area schools and organizations at which the individual has coached or may have been employed. Please feel free to contact the high school administration or central office with any questions or concerns.
As always, thank you for your understanding and for your ongoing support of our schools.
Julie Hackett, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Taunton Public Schools