Pa. youth pastor arrested on child pornography charges

Brandon Dasilva, pastor of student ministries at Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community Church in East Earl, Pa., was arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography in February.

Weaverland’s lead pastor, Brian Martin, said the congregation learned of the situation Feb. 22 and terminated Dasilva’s employment the following day. LMC suspended his ministry credential effective Feb. 25. He continues to receive pastoral care.

“We are deeply grieved by the allegations and those potentially harmed by Mr. Dasilva,” Martin wrote in a Feb. 23 statement on the church’s website. “We are cooperating fully with the state’s attorney’s office and the ongoing investigation.

“We are not aware that any of the alleged victims were affiliated with Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community; however, we encourage anyone with additional relevant information to contact the authorities.”

Local media reported Dasilva, 26, was arrested Feb. 22 at his home after federal and local investigators executed a search warrant. An investigation began in April 2020 when Homeland Security Investigations discovered a social media account traced to Dasilva had distributed four suspect images.

Fox43 News reported a criminal complaint said Dasilva allegedly admitted he had been viewing child pornography for about a year and a half. More suspected content was uncovered in his home. He was charged with four counts of sexual abuse of children for disseminating child pornography, 26 counts of sexual abuse of children for possession of child pornography, and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Weaverland is a member of LMC, an Anabaptist conference based in Lancaster, Pa.

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