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Child Exploitation Charges

A Yancey County woman and her former employer are charged with sexual exploitation of a child. Deputies have charged Tabitha Black with felony sex charges for inappropriate touching and taking pictures of a nude child. Patrick Silva faces felony exploitation charges for posting those pictures on the internet.

Deputies say the call came from law enforcement overseas where investigators saw the pictures and tracked them back to patrick Silva. Silva owned the popular Hilltop Restaurant in downtown Burnsville. He closed it last year and took down the signs. According to neighbors, he was planning on turning it into a sports bar. Tabitha Black is a former employee at the restaurant. Deputies have charged her with four felony charges of sex offense with a child.

The alleged victim told deputies that Black had touched her inappropriately, and then the child was made to touch Black. Deputies say Black took nude photos of the child, sent them to Silva, and he posted them on the internet. Police seized cell phones and computers from both suspects.

Patrick Silva is in jail under $150,000 bond. Tabitha Black is under $700,000 bond. Both have court appearances next Tuesday.

By Sherrill Barber
Follow Sherrill on Twitter @SherrillBarber


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