DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Davie Police have arrested a jiu-jitsu instructor accused of inappropriately touching several teenage students.
7News cameras captured 34-year-old Joao Da Silva as he was taken away in handcuffs from Raiva Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Davie, the martial arts academy he owns and teaches in, Tuesday afternoon.
Da Silva has been charged with lewd and lascivious molestation against two female students, ages 13 and 15. Both victims claim the suspect fondled their breasts during class.
“Two of the victims alleged that he inappropriately touched their breasts under their bra,” said Davie Police Detective Vivian Gallinal. “Both juvenile victims have been attending the school for approximately three years.”
Da Silva has owned Raiva, located 8234 W. State Road 84, for the last three years. He was featured in a promotional video for the martial arts academy.
The suspect declined to comment on the allegations as he was taken to a police cruiser.
Investigators said he is also accused in a case involving a 17-year-old girl. However, that incident is being investigated by Hollywood Police and charges are pending.
Pierre Kattan, who owns the business located next door to Raiva, said he sees another side of Da Silva.
“I’m totally shocked to hear this news,” he said.
Kattan said his two children have attended Da Silva’s classes, and he has never witnessed any inappropriate behavior.
“I’ve watched his classes many times, and I know he’s very well-behaved,” said Kattan. “The way he does his business, his moves, he always stays away, especially when it comes to girls’ training.”
Kattan said he always sees Da Silva with his wife and children, and he cannot make sense of the charges.
“If something goes on after training, as they claim, I have no idea. I’m not there, you know what I’m saying?” said Kattan. “But during training, we’re there, we see him, we see what he does.”
The school remained closed Tuesday night, after police took Da Silva to the Broward County Jail. He has been denied bond.
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