Mayor arrested for playing strip poker at youth camp
August 7, 2016
The 41-year-old mayor of Stockton was arrested Thursday on charges stemming from a strip poker game he allegedly participated in with teen counselors at his Mayor’s Youth Camp last summer. Mayor Anthony Silva is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 and child endangerment.
In Aug. 2015, approximately 75 disadvantaged children between the ages of 5 and 17 attended the mayor’s youth camp. Silva had hired young adults to work as counselors at the camp, according to court documents.
One of the counselors told investigators that there was beer and vodka available at the camp, and many of the counselors were drinking. On one evening, Silva, a 16-year-old boy, an 18-year-old woman, a 19-year-old woman and two 19-year-old men allegedly participated in a game of strip poker during which everyone at one time was naked.
Last fall, federal agents seized Silva’s cellphone and laptop. Investigators then discovered 23 photographs and four video clips from the 2015 summer youth camp including an audio tape of the strip poker game.
“Mayor Silva allowed and encouraged persons under 21 years of age to consume alcohol for the purpose of getting intoxicated so he … could involve, and participate with, such persons in sexually suggestive behavior such as strip poker where such activities could be videotaped,” wrote Terrence Brass, a criminal investigator with the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, in a declaration.
Silva’s attorney, Mark Reichel, questions the timing of the mayor’s arrest. Silva is currently running for reelection.
“Authorities have had all of this information for a year, and have spent unlimited resources looking everywhere they could to find something to justify the investigation,” Reichel said in a statement. “The timing is very suspect, and seems like the work of a political clique in Stockton.”