Man ad­mits as­sault­ing Hamil­ton girl in child porn case in­volv­ing online ads

Sec­ond con­vic­tion in Project Links

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - NI­COLE O’REILLY

A Water­loo man has pleaded guilty to tak­ing part in the sex­ual as­sault of a seven-year-old Hamil­ton girl whose abuse was al­legedly ad­ver­tised on Craigslist by her mother’s boyfriend.

Rui DaSilva, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex­ual in­ter­fer­ence and two counts of mak­ing child pornog­ra­phy Tues­day in re­la­tion to two mid­dle-of-the-night trips he took to the girl’s home Feb. 14 and April 27, 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to the agreed state­ment of facts read in court, the girl’s mother’s boyfriend al­legedly rou­tinely car­ried the girl from her bed in the mid­dle of the night into the base­ment, where he dressed her in lin­gerie, sex­u­ally as­saulted her and recorded the abuse on a phone.

DaSilva ad­mit­ted to re­spond­ing to a Craigslist ad­ver­tise­ment and driv­ing to the Hamil­ton home on two oc­ca­sions to take part in the sex­ual as­sault of the seven-yearold girl. On the sec­ond oc­ca­sion, he brought a woman with him.

Court heard lurid cor­re­spon­dence be­tween DaSilva and the boyfriend, who al­legedly ad­ver­tised “kinky, taboo, young” sex. In one mes­sage, the boyfriend al­legedly tells DaSilva his girl­friend is fi­nally asleep and ad­vises they have a cou­ple hours.

The girl’s aunt sat in the courtroom for the plea, at times cry­ing while as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Janet Booy read de­tails.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, dubbed Project Links, be­gan in May 2016 when the girl told her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther about the abuse and he re­ported it to the Catholic Chil­dren’s Aid So­ci­ety, who called po­lice.

The six-month Project Links in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volved mul­ti­ple po­lice ser­vices, in­clud­ing Hamil­ton po­lice.

The boyfriend, a 34-year-old Hamil­ton man who can­not be named be­cause it could iden­tify the vic­tim, faces 40 charges. His case re­mains be­fore the courts.

The girl’s mother, a 39-year-old Hamil­ton woman who sim­i­larly can’t be named, was charged with fail­ing to pro­vide the ne­ces­si­ties of life, but had her charge stayed.

A 50-year-old Hamil­ton man pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy and mak­ing child pornog­ra­phy charges in re­la­tion to the case. John Gal­lagher was sen­tenced to three years and seven months in prison.

Po­lice ex­e­cuted 14 search war­rants, seized 100 elec­tronic de­vices and com­put­ers, and ar­rested five ad­di­tional peo­ple, in­clud­ing Gal­lagher.

DaSilva re­turns to court June 15 for sen­tenc­ing.

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