Dance instructor suspected of sexually abusing former students
Dance instructor suspected of sexually abusing former students

Dance instructor suspected of sexually abusing former students

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VISTA, Calif. — A dance instructor was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of sexually abusing his former students, authorities said.

David Silvas, 39, was arrested at his Vista home Tuesday on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape, sexual assault of a child under 14 years old and other sexually-related felony offenses, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. Silvas was booked into Vista Detention Facility without bail.

In July 2020, a 30-year-old woman reported to the sheriff’s department that her former dance instructor had sexually molested her on several occasions, starting when she was 12 years old until she was 17, according to authorities.

Lt. Kevin Ralph said she told deputies that the abuse occurred at various locations including the Callahan Institute of the Arts (CIA), located in the 1500 block of El Camino Real in Encinitas, which has been closed for several years.

Detectives investigating the case identified and located three more victims who were girls between 13 and 16 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, according to the department. Those reported assaults happened at dance studios, dance meets or competitions and house parties in San Diego and Los Angeles counties between 2005 and 2014.

Authorities did not release identities of the child abuse victims due to the agency’s policy.

Detectives believe there are more victims and possible witnesses. Anyone who has information was asked to call the Sheriff’s Child Abuse Unit at 858-285-6293. You can remain anonymous by calling the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 888-580-8477.

Silvas is expected to face a judge Thursday.

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