Saratoga youth church leader arrested for child pornography, sex acts with minor

Bay Area
Saratoga youth church leader accused of sex acts with minor

A church youth leader in Saratoga has been arrested for allegedly sending child pornography and performing sexual acts with a minor, according to authorities. 

On Thursday around 10 a.m. West Valley Patrol Division received a report from the Saratoga Federated Church saying three men claimed they were victims of sexual abuse over the last five years. 

The suspect, 31-year-old Joseph Silva Jr. from Campbell, is the youth leader at the church and a teacher at a Mandarin Immersion Program at the West Valley Presbyterian Church in Cupertino. 

After a preliminary investigation, Silva Jr. was arrested for sending photos of his genitals and requesting and receiving photos of victim’s genitals through texts and social media. 

At this time, there are four confirmed victims; three adults between the ages of 19 and 20, and a minor between the ages of 15 and 17. 

Detectives are working with the church on the case and say there are potentially two other juvenile victims. 

Silva Jr. was booked at the Main Jail in San Jose for possession and distribution of child porn, lewd acts and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sexual battery. 

Authorities say he has since been released on $124,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 8.

The church released a statement:

The protection of children and young people is of paramount concern at Saratoga Federated Church.   Abuse of anyone is never tolerated.  

Recently, one of our church leaders learned of an accusation of improper behavior by an adult volunteer.   The accusation was immediately reported to law enforcement to ensure that it may be investigated fully by trained professionals.  Our church has and will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement in any way possible. 

Our church intends to avoid any activity or publications that might in any way interfere with the investigation process.   Our Church has and will continue to encourage any potential victim to come forward.  Our church is likewise acutely aware of the need to respect the privacy of any victim and create an environment that assists them. 

So as to ensure the integrity of the investigative process, requests for additional information should be directed to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.

Saratoga Federated Church asks that the community join with our church community in praying for anyone whom may be affected by this circumstance.

As the investigation continues, if you have any information you are asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4500.

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