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New details of Alex Da Silva rape charges offered by police

April 6, 2009 | 12:11 pm

Alex Da Silva lured at least four women into the bedrooms of his home, where he allegedly raped them, by using ruses such as telling them he wanted to show them new clothes or needed help fixing his computer, police said today.

Da Silva, a salsa dance instructor and choreographer for Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” was arrested this weekend on suspicion of sexually assaulting four women in incidents over the last six years.

Authorities said the four victims were all students of Da Silva at the time of the assaults. He was arrested 20 minutes before the end of a class he was teaching Saturday at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, said Det. John Eum of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Eum said three  incidents occurred in North Hollywood and the most recent one in Van Nuys. Da Silva, 41, is being held in lieu of $3.8 million bail and is considered a flight risk because of his strong connections to Latin America, Eum said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Da Silva also teaches at the Mayan club in downtown Los Angeles, police said. Because Da Silva is a well-known figure in the salsa and dance communities, news of his arrest traveled quickly.

"It's big news in the salsa scene," said Darrell Alatorre, owner of Mama Juana's restaurant and dance club in Studio City. "Everybody knows who Alex Da Silva is if you dance salsa regularly. He really was respected. That's the shock you're going to hear."

Anyone with information about possible assaults involving Da Silva is urged to call Van Nuys detectives at (818) 374-1926.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz