The news of Wednesday night's arrest of Massachusetts Maple Leafs Coach and General Manager Anthony
DeSilva did not come as much of a surprise to a number of former players and
associates that know him. One parent is even claiming that USA Hockey officials where aware of the coach's behavior and has the documentation to back it up.
This from the published
A junior hockey league coach in Southeastern
Massachusetts was arrested this week on charges that he tried to seduce two
16-year-old Florida boys online.
Massachusetts State Police troopers, working
with New Bedford police officers and sheriff's deputies from Polk County, Fla.,
arrested Anthony DeSilva, 41, Wednesday evening at his home at 23 Fairfield
St., Acushnet, said Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District
According to the report, DeSilva sent
naked images of himself to an undercover Polk County Sheriff's deputy posing
as a 16 year-old boy. DeSilva also graphically described what he wanted to do
with the boy.
Rumors of DeSilva's inappropriate
behavior have been circulated for years. During last year's scandal in regards
to the Chicago Hitmen, DeSilva's name was brought up again and again. There is
a confirmed connection between DeSilva and former Hitmen coach Brent
Agrusa. Agrusa brought DeSilva to the training camp of one of the teams he was
coaching at the time. "There was an obvious friendship between the two," said an
anonymous mutual acquaintance.
The father of former Mass Leafs player
Alex Rivers reported DeSilva's inappropriate behavior to USA Hockey officials.
A number of complaints were sexual in nature. The following are a few quotes taken from a
email sent to league attorney Allan Charlap;
I have attached the text
messages I obtained from my son's phone. He does speak of a player helping him
kill himself in these. Unfortunately Alex had deleted some. The ones
containing information about, cuddling, wanting to see you, etc. I
hope you can understand how hard this has been for Alex to deal with. It
took him a while before he could even tell anyone about what was happening. His
instant reaction was to delete and ignore these messages along with what was
happening in hopes it would stop.
In the situation where
Coach De Silva crawled into bed with Alex, it was during an IJ Showcase in
Exeter, NH the weekend of September 17, 2010 . Teams played were Kodiaks,
Blackhawks and Cubs possibly others as well. Another player was
in the room when this occurred, his name is Demetrius Polk. This
wasn't a situation that was kept quite either, at least 10 players knew about
it as Alex was jokingly being picked on after that about Tony wanting to cuddle
with Alex. During visits to Alex's apartment in MA and speaking with players
and his roommates it was very apparent all the players felt Coach De Silva was
a bit of a creep.
I talked with Rivers on Thursday about
the situation and he felt it would be appropriate to speak freely.
"DeSilva provided alcohol to players
and got drunk on the team bus while he was driving to Minnesota," Rivers said. "DeSilva would often just show up
at the apartment in the middle of the night. He was a great hockey coach and
that is why players stuck around. The odd behavior was looked past. The players
knew that he had some serious mental problems, he threatened to commit suicide
on multiple occasions."
On a number of occasions DiSilva
talked about his good friend Brent Agrusa and his ability to move players to Agrusa's
North American Hockey League team in Chicago. "Coach (DiSilva) would refer to
Chicago all the time," Rivers said. "Agrusa was definitely used as a lure to
keep players around."
"A lot of the players that are on the
team now were there when I was there." Rivers concluded with this. "I will stand
up for the team and for all the players that lives have been affected by
Meanwhile the Mass Maple Leafs program
may have played their last game according to the Eastern States Hockey League's
Sarge Richards. "DeSilva is pretty much a one-man show up there," Richards said
today. "We are trying to get in touch with the other coach but have been unable
to make contact. Regardless, the league will have to quickly address the issue and
gauge the ability of the team to move forward. If they are unable, we will have
to adjust the schedule accordingly."
I have a number of serious questions
for USA Hockey. When allegations of this nature are brought forward, what are
the standard procedures? We are talking about a coach with teams at multiple
levels of play. This includes players as young as 15 years old. Was Rivers'
information passed onto authorities in Massachusetts?
These are questions that every hockey
team owner, staff member, player, and parents needs to demand answers to. We
should all applaud Alex Rivers for having the courage to come forward and we
should make sure that players always have an avenue to report abuse of any
I'm tired of this crap. It's time that
we all stand together against all sexual predators and need to develop a better system to protect these athletes.
This email was sent to Dave Orgrean, USA Hockey's Executive Director and CC's to just about everyone else with authority in Colorado Springs.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
My name is David Rivers, we have been playing phone tag for the last month or so. I apologize and have decided to drop you an email instead. I have a 19 year old son, Alex Rivers who has been playing on the Mass Maple Leafs this season under Tony DeSilva. I have had some very disturbing information come my way in the recent weeks.
Tony has acted BEYOND inappropriate with my son and numerous other players this season. I have numerous text messages from Tony to Alex making insinuations that he would be committing suicide. This has happened on numerous occasions!
He has crawled in his bed on a road trip and asked him to "cuddle" while sticking Alex's fingers in his mouth. Followed by numerous late night calls & texts wanting to see Alex while he had been drinking, saying things like "I wanta see you" "I would like to cuddle, you don't like to cuddle?", "you don't get freaked out easily do you?", "wanna drink some beers?" When Alex has questioned him and said "what's wrong with you? are you ok?" Tony's response was "Yeah just ****** up!"
He has drank beer while driving the team bus, has players stay in his room on trips, slaps their genitals in the locker room.
Another disturbing story I have heard from my son as well as other players took place while on a trip, the team stopped at a sports/hockey store. He proceeded to make all the players get off the bus and remove all clothing that said Mass Maple Leafs prior to going into the store. Numerous boys were confused and wondering "what could be going on?" As they proceed into the store they noticed one of the boys was limping?? While walking into the store a lady working there said "oooo are you injured?" the player responded "yes my knee." He wasn't injured. After the boys got back on the bus and saw other players pulling THOUSANDS of dollars worth of equipment out of their clothes while laughing with Tony, they realized why Tony wanted their jerseys off so nobody would have the team name if they realized they had just been ROBBED!! The limping boy was just preparing for walking out with a hockey stick down his pants.
I am just disgusted and beside myself. I have removed my son from the team and taken him back to North Carolina. I have sent Tony a email as well requesting the balance of my account refunded to me, as it is paid in full for the season. My son has been involved with USA Hockey for years and I have always been confident the coaches involved in this organization were stand up men, good role models and mentors. I am really questioning how a man like this can sneak into such a great organization?
I am writing to you hoping this will get to someone who can put a end to this behavior before this man seriously hurts one of these players or someone else. He has NO business being around these impressionable young men. I have worked very hard over the years to have a close relationship with my son and thankfully he came to me prior to a tragedy I could not repair. My fear is the young men who do not have the same type of relationship with their parents, and become victim to this predator.
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Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.