Arrested Valley Center cop center of previous investigation

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Valley Center Police Officer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of a number of charges, including rape and other sex related crimes.

Sergeant Thomas Delgado had been with the Valley Center Police Department since March of 2014. Before his time with Valley Center, Delgado worked for the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years.

KSN learned on Friday that while Delgado was a deputy with the sheriff’s office, he was the center of another investigation.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter confirms his office did an investigation on Delgado in 2011, before Easter had taken over as sheriff.

The investigation involved an incident with a 16-year-old girl. The girl filed a complaint against Delgado saying he had acted inappropriately toward her while on a ride along.

Easter told KSN, his staff takes every complaint seriously.

“The crux of this is that every criminal complaint that is filed against a sheriff’s office employee is fully investigated and presented the DA’s office,” said Easter.

Easter said, while the complaint did not arise to the level of a criminal investigation, a letter was sent to the family of a then 16-year-old girl, saying Delgado was at fault. While the sheriff’s office did investigate, and find Delgado at fault, the behavior was not criminal in nature, thus the record of the incident remained in his personal file.

“If you’re talking from strictly a criminal standpoint, during his tenure here of two years while I was sheriff, there were no criminal complaints and nothing that I was aware of that was sent to CPOST,” said Easter.

That’s why Valley Center Police Chief Mark Hephner said his department didn’t see any red flags when they hired Delgado in 2014.

“We certainly do a background check and be as thorough as we can be, I’ve got letters from members of the Sheriff’s Department that recommended him,” said Hephner.

Hephner said a year after Delgado was hired, someone alerted him that Delgado had been under investigation during his tenure at the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. He said he did contact the sheriff’s office about the investigation, but he would not go into more detail again, citing a personnel issue.

Easter would not elaborate on Delgado’s punishment, or if he was punished after the 2011 investigation.