State employee arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor

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by Tami Hoey

Video report by Natalie Brand

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 4:02 PM

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that his detectives have arrested an El Mirage man for 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

James Robert Desilva, 50, was taken into custody at his home near West Cactus Road and Main Street Monday morning. Desilva is married and works as an IT specialist for the Arizona Department of Real Estate. He is being held on a $100,000 bond from a grand jury warrant.

On Oct. 4, 2011, sheriff’s detectives initiated an investigation after receiving a tip through Child Protective Services of an IP address that was sharing child pornography files. Results received back from a subpoena indicated that the IP address belonged to Desilva.

Desilva, who once applied at both the Surprise and Glendale police departments, admitted to sheriff’s detectives that he was responsible for the sharing of files that included at least 70 pictures and videos of child pornography.

The minors depicted were found to be between 4 and 11 years old. Desilva also admitted to downloading bestiality and other pornographic pictures and videos. Between the time Desilva admitted his crimes in 2011 and his arrest Monday, sheriff’s detectives worked to find physical proof that backed up Desilva’s confession.

“Desilva’s computer expertise made this case very difficult,” Arpaio said. “So far we were able to acquire 70 images and video pertaining to child pornography. If and when we gain access to his computer, more charges may be filed regarding other criminal activities.”

Desilva further stated during the interview with detectives that he had possession of bomb making/terrorism-type videos and information which led him to encrypt his computer system out of fear of being caught by federal government officials.

Desilva is refusing to cooperate with sheriff’s detectives to provide the password to the system which might show more images of child pornography.

Desilva was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, all class 2 felonies.

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