A youth hockey coach from Massachusetts charged with computer sex crimes made his first appearance before a judge in Polk County Saturday morning.
Anthony ‘Tony' DeSilva is facing 10 counts of using a computer to seduce a child and one count of using a computer to transmit harmful material to a child.
His bond was set at $55,000.
According to a Polk County Sheriff's Office report the 41-year-old suspect solicited at least two area teenage boys to perform acts of a sexual nature.
Investigators say DeSilva coaches the Massachusetts Maple Leafs, a youth hockey team for players 20 years of age and under.
During the course of the investigation the suspect allegedly sent naked images of himself in online and text messages. After hearing about DeSilva's actions one of the victim's parents contacted PCSO.
Detectives, posing as the teen, continued to exchange messages with DeSilva. On Wednesday Polk County detectives with assistance from the New Bedford (Massachusetts) and Dartmouth State Police Departments took the suspect into custody at his Acushnet home.
A search warrant was executed at DeSilva's residence and additional charges may be filed. During an interview with investigators after he was read his Miranda rights the suspect allegedly knew boys he was chatting with were 16.
DeSilva told detectives he is employed by a company called CRJ Community Resource Justice and works the midnight shift at a group home for mentally challenged individuals.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said this case illustrates how important a role adults play in keeping their children safe from online predators.
"We have said over and over that parents are our first line of defense against sexual offenders," Judd explained. "Here is a perfect example of that. The [victim's] mother absolutely did the right thing by contacting us as soon as she suspected that a sexual predator was soliciting her child."
According to the Massachusetts Maple Leafs website DeSilva is the head coach of the team and General Manager of the organization.
He has been affiliated with the team since its inception in 1997.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?