Mass. hockey coach appears in court this morning in Polk County

Mother of Potential victim speaks out

Bartow - A Massachusetts hockey coach accused of trying to solicit sex from teenage boys in Tampa Bay made is first appearance in court this morning.  The judge set bond at $55,000.

Tony DeSilva arrived in Polk County last night and in a unusual twist, the mother of one of his potential victims showed up for the suspect's arrival.

The single mother from Lakeland didn't want her name made public, but she felt so strongly about what could have happened to her son, she went in front of cameras to warn other parents.

With his head down DeSilva didn't say a word as he was brought into the Polk County Jail Friday evening.

And there to see him get locked up, the Lakeland mother who reported him to the Sheriff's Office.

"I just know he's off the street and my son's safe," she said.

DeSilva faces 10 counts of trying to seduce children using the internet.

One of the kids he went after on Facebook the woman's 16-year-old son. She found out because she says snoops.

"It's very important that parents have passwords for all media that their children have. Some people say I'm a little over the edge with it, but you know what? I don't feel I am."

Investigators say DeSilva sent nude pictures to teens and asked for them to do the same in return.

Back in Massachusetts, we got a look DeSliva's room filled with trophies, hockey memorabilia, and the computer he may have used to contact kids.

We also heard from his distraught mother.
"I just can't believe it. I haven't slept in two days," said Gladys DeSilva.

Investigators say DeSilva, who's coached a junior hockey team for 15 years, used sports to try and lure in kids. Some are comparing him to Jerry Sandusky.

"I don't think we know what's going on yet, could it be something that severe? Yes possibly, could it be headed there? Absolutely," said the mother.

She also says she's scared what DeSilva might have done with some of the hundreds of kids he came in contact with as a coach. She says she hopes anyone effected will come forward.

DeSilva will be front of a Polk County judge Saturday morning.
 

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