EAST EARL, Pa. — A Lancaster County youth pastor has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography by investigators with the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Brandon Dasilva, 26, of Terre Hill, is pastor of student ministries for Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community Church in East Earl. He was arrested Monday after members of the Office of the Attorney General and federal agents served a search warrant at his South Earl St. apartment.
Authorities began investigating Dasilva in April 2020, when an agent with Homeland Security Investigations discovered an account on the social media app Kik had distributed four images of suspected child pornography.
Investigators traced the account's IP address to Dasilva, according to the criminal complaint affidavit filed against him.
Investigators executed the search warrant at Dasilva's home at 6:35 a.m. Monday, the complaint states.
Dasilva, who was present, allegedly admitted he had been viewing child pornography for about a year and a half, the complaint says. He told investigators he ashamed and "hated himself" for his behavior, according to the complaint.
Investigators examined Dasilva's computer and cell phone and uncovered at least 25 images of suspected child pornography on a SD card in one of his computers and a video depicting child pornography on an iPad found in the home, the complaint says.
Dasilva is being 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.
“The defendant was trusted as a faith leader for young people in Lancaster, but out of the public eye was exploiting children,” said Shapiro in a press release announcing Dasilva's arrest. “Brandon Dasilva undermined the authority placed in him by his community, and betrayed the trust of the young people who believed in him. We will continue to work to protect children and hold those who abuse them accountable.”