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California Mayor Allegedly Played Strip Poker With Minors

Anthony Silva, the mayor of Stockton, Calif., was arrested on Thursday and charged with cruelty and endangerment to a child’s health, recording confidential communications, and providing alcohol to a minor.


Silva, who has served in office since 2013 and will be up for reelection this year, is said to have played strip poker with young people at the summer camp he ran and given them alcohol. All were under the legal drinking age, according to CBS News. The summer camp was largely for underprivileged kids, and events that led to the investigation occurred in the mayor’s bedroom at the camp.

FBI authorities seized the mayor’s phone in 2015. Throughout the investigation, they found incriminating videos on the 41-year-old’s phone proving that the children playing the strip poker game did not consent to being recorded.

A press release from Stockton police detailed the contents of the findings on the phone more carefully:

“In one of the video clips, it appeared that moments after the video began, the phone was set down, darkening the camera lens and thus only containing audio. That clip contains audio of a conversation between participants involved in a strip poker game that occurred in Silva’s bedroom. The conversation between the participants indicated that they were naked. One of the participants was a 16-year-old male. The audio of the surreptitious recording clearly indicates that the participants did not want to be recorded. Witnesses also informed FBI agents that Silva provided alcohol to the participants, all of whom were underage, including a minor.”

Despite these serious allegations, Silva remains adamant in his innocence, according to Reuters.

The mayor was recently in the news when police reported that a gun stolen from his home had been used in several crimes. That weapon was said to have been used in the 2015 murder of 13-year-old Rayshawn Harris.

Because he has faced so much scrutiny, some have called for the mayor to resign and drop out of the race for reelection. However, it is not clear that Silva has any plans to do so as he fights the court on his charges.

After his Thursday arrest, Silva was released on $20,000 bail.

Lauren Grimaldi is a political science student minoring in journalism at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She was a staff reporter on her college newspaper, the Roosevelt Torch, for the past two years, and will enter into her third year of college as the Managing Editor of the paper. Lauren also writes for Study Breaks, an online college magazine that features student writers from across the nation. In the future, she hopes to work as a political reporter to bring the most important news on government and policy to the public. While she loves reporting political news, her favorite articles to write by far are political op-eds. Outside of politics, her interests include comedy, baseball, hockey, and food. Lauren can be reached at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter at @LaurenGrimaldi1.
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