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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

September 27, 2012

R.I. State Probation Officer Charged with Receiving Child Pornography

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gerald Silva, 57, of Coventry, R.I., was released to home confinement and electronic monitoring following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence today on a Criminal Complaint charging him with receipt of child pornography. Silva, a R.I. state probation officer assigned to the sex offender unit, was arrested following the execution of a federal court authorized search of his residence. Silva was charged as the result of an on-going investigation by federal agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service into the alleged sale and shipment of child pornography by a Toronto, Canada based company into the United States.

The investigation and arrest of Silva was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division Assistant Inspector in Charge Kevin M. Niland; Coventry Police Chief Bryan J. Volpe; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

According to an affidavit in support of a Criminal Complaint, it is alleged that Silva purchased 75 different videos containing child pornography in 22 separate orders for $1,589 via the Toronto company's website. The videos were allegedly shipped to Silva’s Coventry residence.

A Criminal Complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Receipt of child pornography is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison; up to lifetime of supervised release; and a fine of $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.

Coventry Police and the Rhode Island State Police assisted agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in the execution of the federal search warrant at Silva’s residence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”



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