Police Seek Help in Investigation of TV Personality - NBC 7 San Diego

Police Seek Help in Investigation of TV Personality

Police say in the past 72 hours "several more" alleged victims of Alex Da Silva have stepped forward

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    Detective Dennis Derr with Van Nuys Division wants to talk to anyone who may have information about Alex De Silva and his involvement in alleged Los Angeles area sexual assaults. Contact Derr at (818) 374.1926.

    "Several more women" have contacted the Los Angeles Police Department in the past 72 hours with "rape" charges against TV personality, salsa dancer and choreographer Alex Da Silva, a detective said Wednesday.

    Detective Dennis Derr with the LAPD Van Nuys Division said, "these are not sexual assault charges, but rape charges" the women are making.  

    "More than 10 women" have contacted LAPD claiming Da Silva raped them, Derr said. The alleged attacks stretch back to 1999.
     
    "An active investigation is going on. We are pursuing this case very vigorously. We encourage anyone, victims or people who know victims to contact me," Derr said.

    "None of the victims knew each other, but all have similar stories," Derr added.

    Los Angeles County prosecutors Tuesday declined to file criminal charges against Da Silva. The TV personality appeared on the Fox television show "So You Think You Can Dance." Prosecutors told police further investigation was needed into allegations that he sexually assaulted four of his students.
      
    In the wake of the decision, the 41-year-old Da Silva, who was arrested Saturday, was released from Los Angeles County Jail Tuesday afternoon.  Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Harland Braun represents Da Silva. Braun said Wednesday afternoon that maybe he might have a comment "in a day or two."

    Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors wanted police to conduct more investigation before charges are considered. She also said more alleged victims have come forward, and they still needed to be interviewed.
      
    According to police, Da Silva lured the victims -- who were all female dance students -- to his homes in North Hollywood and Van Nuys and sexually assaulted them. The alleged assaults occurred between May 2003 and March 28, police said.
      
    Born in Rio de Janeiro, Da Silva won the World Salsa Dancing Championships in 2002 and 2007 and, before his arrest, was teaching at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood and the Mayan Club downtown.

    Detective Dennis Derr can be contacted at 818-374.1926.