Ex-'Dance' choreographer Alex Da Silva convicted of rape and assault
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/20/2011
Former So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Alex Da Silva has been convicted of raping one female victim and assaulting another.
A Los Angeles jury found Da Silva guilty on Friday of raping a former dance student in August 2002 and assaulting a second female student with intent to commit rape in March 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported.
However, the jury was unable to reach a decision on four additional charges involving two more female students, resulting in Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy declaring a mistrial on the remaining charges.
Prosecutors have reportedly not decided whether they will attempt to retry Da Silva on the four remaining charges -- two counts of forcible rape and two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object.
Da Silva -- who served as a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance's first four seasons from 2005 to 2008 -- was arrested in August 2009 and charged with four counts of forcible rape, two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object.
He pleaded not guilty to the eight felony sexual-assault charges, claiming they were not criminal acts but consensual sex.
The arrest occurred after several previous sexual assault accusations against him. Three different women had accused Da Silva of sexually assaulting them in 2003, 2004 and 2005, but prosecutors had ultimately decided against filing charges in each case.
However, detectives re-interviewed the previous accusers after a fourth woman made similar accusations against Da Silva in March 2009 and discovered the women's accounts all contained similar details -- resulting in the earlier cases being re-opened and police arresting him on suspicion of sexual assault in April 2009.
Da Silva was released a few days after his April 2009 arrest when the Los Angeles district attorney's office decided there was not enough evidence to pursue sexual-assault charges at the time, but re-arrested in August 2009 after authorities had investigated further.
Da Silva has remained behind bars since his August arrest and is due back in court on November 8 for possible sentencing. He reportedly faces up to 14 years in prison for the charges he was convicted of on Friday and up to life in prison if he is also retried and convicted of the additional harges.
(Photo credit Fox)
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