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California Briefing / North Hollywood

Dance instructor held in assaults

August 19, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

A salsa dance instructor and choreographer on the Fox television show "So You Think You Can Dance" was arrested Tuesday on a felony warrant charging him with sexually assaulting four women.

Alex Da Silva, 41, who was arrested at his North Hollywood home, is being held in lieu of $6.2-million bail.

The alleged assaults took place between August 2002 and March 2009, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. She said the victims were either dancers or aspiring dancers who met Da Silva at his dance classes.

Da Silva initially was arrested in April but released after the L.A. County district attorney's office declined to file charges and asked detectives to resubmit the case with additional evidence.

Los Angeles police investigators alleged that Da Silva raped four female students using various ruses to get them into his bedroom, such as wanting to show them new clothes or asking for help fixing his computer.

At the time of his original arrest, Silva's attorney Harland Braun told The Times the case was a misunderstanding of "the difference between seduction and rape."

On Tuesday, Braun had no immediate comment on the search warrant and was critical of the bail amount.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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