AG Shapiro Charges Lancaster Youth Pastor With Distributing Child Pornography

February 23, 2021 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of Brandon Dasilva, a Lancaster County youth pastor charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

“The defendant was trusted as a faith leader for young people in Lancaster, but out of the public eye was exploiting children,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Brandon Dasilva undermined the authority placed in him by his community, and betrayed the trust of the young people who believed in him. We will continue to work to protect children and hold those who abuse them accountable.”

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) and federal agents arrested Dasilva, of Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community Church, after executing a search warrant at his home. Dasilva serves as the Pastor of Student Ministries for the church. The investigation began in April 2020, after agents began investigating a Kik account that distributed images of child pornography. The investigation led to an IP address registered to Dasilva’s home in Lancaster County, where a search of Dasilva’s electronic devices uncovered a number of images of child pornography.

Dasilva is being charged with four counts of Sexual Abuse of Children for disseminating child pornography, 26 counts of Sexual Abuse of Children for possession of child pornography, and one count of Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. This arrest was the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the OAG Child Predator Section.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General David Drumheller. All charges are accusations and the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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