Westlake Soccer Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse Involving Minors

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L.A. Sheriff’s Department Seeks More Victims After Soccer Coach Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

L.A. Sheriff’s Department Seeks More Victims After Soccer Coach Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

May 4, 2023

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau is investigating a local soccer coach accused of sexually assaulting minors. Ernandes “Nando” Dasilva, 65, was arrested on May 2 in connection with alleged sexual assaults occurring between 2011 and 2022 when he was giving private soccer lessons in the city of Westlake Village.

The specific charges against Dasilva have not been announced, but KTLA confirmed the Westlake soccer coach was taken into custody over sex crimes against children under 14 years old.

Dasilva was booked at the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station with a bail of $550,000.00. He has since posted bail and been released, according to an LASD press release. Law enforcement officials have expressed concern regarding the potential for additional victims who have yet to be identified.

“Based on the nature of the allegations and Mr. Dasilva’s access to children, detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims. Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

The Special Victims Bureau is continuing to investigate the allegations of sexual assault of minors by the soccer coach. Officials are urging anyone with information related to a sex crime committed by Ernandes Dasilva to contact them immediately.

If you have information about a sex crime incident, please call the LASD’s, Special Victims Sergeant Lemus or Lieutenant Sciacca at 562-946-8531. Email tips may also be directed to specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org.

If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477). Additionally, the Special Victims Bureau 24 HOUR TIP LINE may be reached at 877-710-5273.

Los Angeles-Area Soccer Coaches Arrested for Suspected Sexual Abuse

Dasilva is one of many area soccer coaches who have been arrested in recent months in connection with alleged child sex abuse.

Orange County Soccer Coach Arrested for Child Sex Abuse:

In April 2022, an Orange County soccer coach was arrested on suspicion of multiple sex crimes.

Joshua Clever, 39, of Santa Ana was taken into custody on charges of child molestation and possession of child pornography. The Costa Mesa Police Department sought the public’s assistance in identifying possible additional victims harmed by the youth soccer coach.

At the time of Clever’s arrest, parents of a 14-year-old victim, a soccer player, reportedly accused the coach of “grooming the young girl for six months” and then raping her. The alleged victim has only been identified as Jane Doe, but police indicated the youth soccer coach gained access to the girl through his job.

Redlands Youth Soccer Coach Arrested for Child Sex Abuse:

In March 2022, a Redlands youth soccer coach was arrested after police discovered him having sex with a 14-year-old girl in the backseat of his car.

“During a vehicle check near Fairway Drive and Country Club Drive in the early morning hours Thursday, Redlands police officers approached Jonathan Jeremy Ledesma, 40. The youth soccer coach claimed the victim was his girlfriend,” a report from Fox 11 confirmed.

“Shortly after 4 a.m., while on proactive patrol, Redlands Police officers contacted Jonathan Jeremy Ledesma with the victim inside his vehicle during an occupied vehicle check,” the Redlands Police Department said in a statement. “Officers located evidence of sex acts inside of the vehicle.”

“During a consent search of Ledesma’s phone, officers located text messages that were sexual in nature between the victim and Ledesma planning to meet up for sex,” the agency said.

The teenage girl confessed that she’d had sex with Ledesma several times over a two-month period, according to police. Ledesma initially met the victim while coaching her at the age of 9 through the Redlands American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), a report from ABC 7 confirmed.

How Common is Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports?

Sexual abuse in youth sports is unfortunately much more common than people realize. Dordulian Law Group (DLG) publishes a regular blog which has featured countless arrests involving local coaches following alleged sex abuse. Some examples include:

ChildHelp.org confirms the following statistics on sexual abuse in youth sports:

  • Abuse occurs in all types of organized youth sports.
  • Studies indicate 40% to 50% of athletes have experienced anything from mild harassment to severe abuse.
  • Research suggests that sexual abuse in sports impacts between 2% to 8% of all athletes.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way.
  • Indicators of possible abuse in sports include (but are not limited to): missing practices, illness, loss of interest, withdrawal and a child performing significantly below his/her abilities.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socio-economic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. When people think “not in our school’s athletic program; not in this religious league; not amongst my people; and not on a team in this neighborhood,” they contribute to a culture of denial where predators are protected.

Additionally, a major research project conducted by World Athletics looked at how frequently sexual abuse occurs in youth sports across the globe. The findings were troubling:

  • 65% of adults (aged 18-30) reported experiencing psychological violence as children.
  • 44% reported experiencing physical violence inside sport as children.
  • Neglect was experienced by 37% of respondents.
  • 35% reported experiencing non-contact sexual violence.
  • 20% reported contact sexual violence.
  • The prevalence of interpersonal violence against children is lowest for respondents in recreational sport (68%) and highest for those who competed in international sport (84%).
  • Children belonging to ethic minority groups are significantly more likely to experience abuse at 76.9%.
  • Figures for each form of interpersonal violence were broadly similar across countries, suggesting the problem is not unique to one country.

Speak to a Youth Sports or Coach Sex Abuse Attorney Today

To speak with a youth sports sexual abuse attorney from DLG, contact us today for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

Our dedicated team of child sexual abuse lawyers is led by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County who obtained life sentences against some of the most dangerous local sexual predators. Today, Dordulian works with his SAJE Team (Sexual Abuse Justice Experts) to fight for justice on behalf of survivors in civil court.

If you experienced a sexual assault incident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

At DLG, we have the experience and proven results you deserve when seeking justice for your youth sports sexual abuse claim. We’ve secured over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts for our clients while maintaining a 98% winning record. With DLG’s dedication and track record, you can have peace of mind throughout the litigation process knowing that your case is in the best possible hands.

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