Laramie Man Partially Disembowels Himself To Escape Child Rape Charges

To escape looming charges of molesting a young girl, a 79-year-old Laramie man locked himself in a bathroom, used a knife to partially disembowel himself, then begged police to “let me die.”

Clair McFarland

August 14, 20234 min read

John Silva
John Silva (Albany Count Sheriff's Office)

A 79-year-old Laramie man slashed his own neck and partially disemboweled himself when police came to arrest him for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old girl, authorities say.  

John Silva faces multiple criminal counts in Albany County District Court, including one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two of second-degree sexual abuse. 

The first-degree charge carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. If convicted on all the charges he faces, Silva could be sentenced to roughly a century in prison.

Bumped Up To Felony Court

Laramie Circuit Court Judge Robert J Sanford on Thursday sent Silva’s case to the felony-level Albany County District Court.  

The allegations stem from June 2, when social workers referred a girl, who is now about 9 years old, to the Laramie Police Department because of allegations an older man had sexually abused her from about 2021 to 2022, according to an evidentiary affidavit in the case.  

In a forensic interview, the girl reportedly related detailed accounts of ways in which the man would sexually abuse her, including oral sex and inappropriate touching.  

“All I want is him to be at, is in jail, until I get to move,” the girl said, according to the affidavit.

In one instance the girl tried to kick Silva away and he allegedly pushed her knees down so she couldn’t.  

Another child said he witnessed one of these assaults.  

“He’s weird,” the witnessing child told police of Silva, according to the affidavit.  

Partial Disembowelment 

Police visited Silva’s home to request an interview June 15, the document says.  

The affidavit says a female who lives there answered the door, while Silva retreated into the bathroom and remained there, “ceasing verbal contact.” 

Another family member, a woman, came to intervene.  

Silva had been in the bathroom 33 minutes, says the affidavit.  

When the woman went into the bathroom, she yelled for someone to call an ambulance. Then she took a “large, bloody knife” from Silva and dropped it on the washing machine. 

“Let me die, let me die,” Silva kept repeating, the affidavit relates.  

He was lying in the bathtub still clothed, bleeding from the left side of his neck and the front of his stomach, says the document. There was a slice wound on his neck and a puncture wound to his stomach where a small portion of his intestines protruded through the stomach wall.  

Police deemed these wounds self-inflicted. 

Because Last Time … 

Silva kept making what the affidavit calls “excited utterances.”  

“You think I wanna, you think of what they done to me in prison, you think of what they done to me in prison,” he said, reportedly. “F*** no. I ain’t gonna live.”  

Silva asked authorities to let him die.

“If I ever told you what happened to me in prison how I f***ing survived it, I don’t wanna live, I don’t wanna live,” he said, the affidavit relates.  

He was raped and sodomized, Silva allegedly said about a previous prison stint. His eyes also were screwed up and his face.  

A Problem With Exposing Myself To Children 

The investigator pulled Silva’s criminal history June 29 and discovered previous convictions in Idaho for sexual battery of a minor and indecent exposure, says the affidavit.  

The incident report for those convictions dated back to July 29, 2005.  

Silva was working at a gas station in Declo, Idaho, when four children ages 7, 9, 11 and 13 visited the gas station.  

Silva was 62 at the time.  

The juveniles later told law enforcement that Silva had unzipped his pants, exposing his penis while in their company, holding it in his hand and showing it to the youngest child, age 7. He also grabbed, squeezed and rubbed the youngest children on their buttocks, the children told police.  

This was not the children’s first encounter with Silva, says the affidavit. He would stand outside his home and expose his penis when they walked by also, sometimes making noise and trying to get their attention, the affidavit relates from the incident report.  

The document says that when police interviewed Silva, he reportedly admitted to the investigator that he has had “a problem of showing his penis to children,” but he denied making any sexual contact. 

Editor’s Note: Cowboy State Daily has omitted some evidentiary allegations to protect the victim’s identity.  

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter