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June 29, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Swansea man was sentenced today in federal court of sexual exploitation of a child and the transportation and possession of child pornography.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; James C. Burrell, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Chief George Arruda of Swansea Police Department; Chief Bart King of Norwood Police Department; and Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter announced today that JOSEPH MICHAEL SILVA, 34, of Swansea, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 270 months in prison on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography .

In the summer of 2003, SILVA, while working as a horseback riding instructor in Lakeville, Mass., persuaded one of his 15-year-old students to be photographed in various sexually explicit poses. SILVA convinced the victim that he loved her and that this type of photography was what “normal adult” couples do. He took one series of photographs in a tack room located on the property of Haskins Farm, and instructed the victim to take a second series of photographs in his horse trailer using his digital camera. After the photographs were taken, SILVA went online, posing as a 15-year-old girl, and sent some of the photographs to a 15-year-old boy. After receiving the photographs and recognizing the riding student, the 15-year-old boy contacted her and told her he had received the photographs. A search warrant was executed at SILVA’s home in 2007, where numerous computers, hard drives and cameras were seized from the defendant’s bedroom, truck, place of business and storage locker. Sexually explicit photographs, internet chats and several other images of child pornography were recovered from the forensic examination of the seized items.

The case was investigated by the Swansea Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Norwood Police Department and Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Cummings of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maxim Grinberg of Ortiz’s Major Crime Unit.


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