Man admits assaulting Hamilton girl in child porn case involving online ads
Second conviction in Project Links
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.