Mass. Hockey Coach Arrested For Soliciting Florida Teens Online

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

ACUSHNET (CBS) – A popular Massachusetts hockey coach was arrested by authorities at his Acushnet home for allegedly soliciting two sixteen year old Florida boys by text and online.

Forty-one year old Anthony DeSilva is accused of sending explicit pictures of himself and describing what he’d like to do. He asked the teens to send similar pictures to him, the exchanges often taking place over his Facebook account.

According to an affidavit, the investigation began earlier this year when the mother of one of the teens contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a Massachusetts man named Tony she believed was contacting her son over the Internet. Detectives asked for, and received permission to pose as her son to continue conversing with the suspect online. Authorities say DeSilva sent naked images of himself to the “boy” and said he is a coach for a junior hockey club team, Massachusetts Maple Leafs, with players 20 years of age and younger (the youngest player listed is sixteen years old).

In Massachusetts, DeSilva is a popular coach with a winning record. At his Acushnet home, where trophies and citations line the shelves, his parents say they’re stunned by the allegations.

“I just have no idea,” said Gladys DeSilva who says authorities would not let her speak with her son when he was arrested at the home. His father Emmanuel says they seized a computer and telephone and rifled through his son’s bedroom. “I don’t know what to tell you. I’m shocked by the fact I couldn’t say goodbye to him,” his mother tells WBZ-TV.

Hockey practice was cancelled at CDL Arena in Raynham as DeSilva will be headed to Florida to face 10 counts for using a computer to seduce a child and one count of transmission of material harmful to a child.

“I’ve seen him coach a lot of kids and you never know a situation like this can occur in someone’s personal life,” said hockey coach Larry Perry whose known DeSilva for years. “I’m stunned; I don’t even know what to say.”

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