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TV dance personality answers to charges

August 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A dance instructor and choreographer on the hit TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" appeared in court to answer to a number of sexual assault charges Wednesday.Salsa dancing champion, Alex Da Silva, 41, is accused of four counts of rape. Da Silva did not enter a plea Wednesday, but he agreed to postpone his arraignment.

"Four women who claim that they had sex with him involuntarily and they are all involved in the salsa community -- the dancing community. His position is that it was consensual," said Harland Braun, Da Silva's attorney.

Da Silva has worked as a choreographer for the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and teaches lessons at the Mayan Club in Downtown L.A.

Da Silva was first arrested in April on charges of sexually assaulting four women between May of 2003 and March of this year. Police say he used his fame to lure women into his bedroom but he was released after prosecutors asked police to further investigate.

Braun says he doesn't know what new evidence has led to his client's recent arrest. But the judge has ordered Da Silva to stay away from the alleged victims.

"You are not to harass, strike, threaten, assault including sexually assault, follow, stalk, molest, destroy or damage personal or real property, disturb the peace, keep under surveillance or block the movements of any of these four protected persons," said Judge Thomas Rubinson, Los Angeles Superior Court.

Da Silva's bail is set at $6.2 million. Braun says the amount is higher than most bails set in some murder cases.

"Murder is one million. So it is presumable you could kill six people and have a $6 million dollar bail. So that's why we are making a bail motion next Tuesday," said Braun.

Bail could be reduced, but for now it remains at $6.2 million.

The arraignment will be on Tuesday. Eyewitness News was told Da Silva will enter a not guilty plea.

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