FARMINGTON — The wife of the 28-year-old Farmington man who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly raping her three little girls said it was as if her husband wore a mask.
When Georginda Silver first met Travis Silver in August 2010, he treated her like a queen, she said. He respected her. He understood her. He related to her. He was, she said, the "man of a woman's dream."
But after a while, she began to wonder. He seemed to spend an unusual amount of time with her daughters, helping them with their homework, taking them to visit the park and cooking, and he never wanted them to be alone with their mother, she said.
Hints of his true qualities began to appear, but often when she asked the wrong question he would yell or beat her, she said.
"But my children," the 29-year-old mother said. "They told me."
Travis Silver is being held in the San Juan County Detention Center on a $250,000 cash-only bond. San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested him on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual penetration of a minor, four counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual penetration of a minor. All are felonies.
Court records indicate a criminal history. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to breaking and entering. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a household member. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to battery and assault of a police officer and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. This year, he again pleaded guilty to battery of a household member and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
Georginda Silver's girls are now between 13 and 8 years old. Her 6-year-old son was the one who reported Travis Silver's actions, she said. She said her husband never knew the boy was watching.
In an interview with a deputy the boy recalls a night he spent with Travis Silver and his sister in a Motel 6, according to the Sheriff's Office affidavit. "He described the bed movement as stuff his mom an dad used to do," the deputy wrote.
In an interview with the three girls, the deputy learned Travis Silver sexually penetrated all three girls, one 15 times and at every home she moved to, according to the affidavit. And sometimes while in bed with his wife and one of the girls he would grope them while Georginda Silver slept, according to the affidavit,
Georginda Silver said there were signs she should have noticed.
Her girls stopped respecting her, she said, as her husband "started to put nonsense in their heads." Her girls wouldn't tell her, either, what her husband was doing to them. She suspects he threatened them or told them no one else would love them.
But any mother who loves their children can feel the difference, she said.
"You have that ability, that mother instinct," she said, "and if there's something wrong, and you feel it, listen to it."
A check of the Sheriff's Office database on Thursday showed there were more than 300 sex offenders registered in the county, said Robert Tallman, the deputy in charge of the county-wide sex offender registration. Each day, as the offenders move in or out of town, that number changes.
Of the total, about 260 molested or raped children — and most of them are fathers, friends, neighbors, he said.
The reporting rate is low, he said. He estimates that about 90 percent of victims do not speak out.
Families are often too trusting of previous sex offenders, he said. Their crimes are among the most commonly repeated, he said.
He is the only deputy assigned to tracking sex offenders, and he can't track them all, he said.
"The community needs to know that just because they're on the sex offender registry doesn't mean they are being watched all the time," he said. "The community needs to be aware."