An Oahu family is speaking out after a man tried to solicit their 11-year-old daughter for sex on Facebook.
The State Attorney General’s Office says Jonathan Silva, 25, arranged to meet the girl at a Pearl City restaurant on April 30. He was arrested when he got there.
Silva was indicted on one count of Electronic Enticement of a Minor. If convicted, Silva would face up to 10 years in prison and would need to register as a sex offender.
The girl’s parents spoke exclusively with KHON2.
They say they’ve been getting a lot of criticism for allowing their 11-year-old to have a Facebook account since the minimum age is 13. But they say they closely monitored her account, and it was supposed to be a way for her to keep in touch with family on the mainland.
KHON2 asked: “What exactly happened?”
Girl’s father replied: “What happened was three weeks ago, I don’t remember the specific date, but my daughter accepted a friend request from a guy named Jonathan Silva thinking it was a friend of myself and my girls. So as soon as she accepted, he instantly started making a pass at her instantly. My daughter instantly went to me and I took the Facebook from her and I told her this conversation ends here and I take over from here.”
Girl’s mother added: “What alarmed her was she said she was 11 and he stated that’s cute, I’m 25 so that to her was an um. And she mentioned we can’t be friends because of my parents and he said hide me and I’ll hide you and that was an um.”
Girl’s father said: “You never think it could happen to you. Never think not my daughter but it can.”
KHON2 asked: “Some people are saying an 11-year-old shouldn’t be on Facebook because the policy is minimum 13-years-old. What’s your response to that?”
Girl’s mother replied: “That to me is irrelevant whether or not she has Facebook or not pedophiles are out there.”
KHON2 asked: “Do you have any regrets signing her up for Facebook?”
Girl’s mother replied: “No”
KHON2 asked: “What’s your message to other parents?”
Girl’s mother replied: “Just talk to them. Be mindful, know their password, I check it all the time.”
KHON2 asked: “How’s your daughter doing?”
Girl’s father replied: “We told her to stay off Facebook for a little while till this thing goes over, so she’s not on Facebook. She’s doing fine, doing what a regular 11-year-old would do.”
The indictment was the result of an investigation by the Attorney General Investigations Division’s Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), assisted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The girl’s parents praise the investigators for helping to catch the suspect.
The Attorney General reminds parents and young people to be mindful of the potential for abuse of the Internet. Anyone with information concerning possible Internet crimes against children should call investigators at (808) 586-1240.