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Salsa teacher Alex Da Silva allegedly used ruses to lure women

Police say Da Silva told women that he wanted to show them new clothes or needed help fixing his computer before sexually assaulting them. Da Silva is being held in lieu of $3.8-million bail.

April 07, 2009|Ari B. Bloomekatz

Salsa dance instructor Alex Da Silva lured at least four women into the bedrooms of his home, where he allegedly raped them, by using ruses such as telling them he wanted to show them new clothes or needed help fixing his computer, police said Monday.

Da Silva, a salsa dance instructor and choreographer for Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of sexually assaulting the women over the last six years.

Authorities said the women were students of Da Silva's at the time of the alleged assaults. He was arrested while teaching a class Saturday at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, said Det. John Eum of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Eum said three incidents occurred in North Hollywood and the most recent one in Van Nuys. Da Silva, 41, is being held in lieu of $3.8-million bail and is considered a flight risk because of his strong connections to Latin America, Eum said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Da Silva also teaches at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles, police said.

Because Da Silva is a well-known figure in the salsa and dance communities, news of his arrest traveled quickly.

"It's big news in the salsa scene," said Darrell Alatorre, owner of Mama Juana's restaurant and dance club in Studio City.

"Everybody knows who Alex Da Silva is if you dance salsa regularly. He really was respected. That's the shock you're going to hear," he said.

Anyone with information about possible assaults involving Da Silva is urged to call Los Angeles Police Department Van Nuys detectives at (818) 374-1926.


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