A well-known salsa dancer, instructor and choreographer who worked on the TV show So You Think You Can Dance was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for raping one woman and assaulting another.
Alex Da Silva, 43, was also ordered by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy to register as a sex offender for life.
An eight-man, four-woman jury convicted Da Silva in September of forcible rape involving an August 2002 attack on a 22-year-old woman. He was also convicted of assault with intent to commit rape involving a March 28, 2009, attack on a 25-year-old woman, but acquitted him of forcibly raping her.
Da Silva was arrested Aug. 18, 2009, at his home in the Cahuenga Pass near North Hollywood and Studio City, and has remained in jail since then.
The jury deadlocked on four other counts, including another charge stemming from the March 2009 attack and the alleged rapes of two other women in 2004 and 2005. Those counts were dismissed today.
Kennedy rejected defense motions for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct and insufficient evidence. The judge said Da Silva "does not respect women," adding that the defendant apparently feels "he's Alex Da Silva and he can do what he wants."
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Martha Carrillo told jurors that Da Silva had the "perfect disguise."
"He's a rapist disguised as a popular salsa instructor," she said. "With this defendant, charming, popular, likeable, no one expected him to do this ..."
In his closing argument, Da Silva attorney Patrick S. Smith said the women who accused his client of rape were not credible.
"The evidence has shown that these women are not telling the truth," Smith told jurors. "He's not the perfect guy. He's not a rapist. He's not a criminal."
A Studio City parent of a child who took classes from Da Silva both at a North Hollywood studio and at his home, which has a large private dance area, said she was surprised about the conviction.
"So many of us are stunned about these allegations and thought they would be dropped," said the mother who asked not to be identified. "It is very sad, he was a talented instructor and we never saw anything inappropriate in the years we've worked with him."
-- Mike Szymanski contributed to this report