WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After former Valley Center police officer Thomas Delgado was arrested on Thursday, a woman contacted KSN claiming to have been victimized by Delgado in 2011.
“I mean he’s a police officer, so I was just really scared what he was going to do,” said the woman, whose identity KSN is not revealing for safety reasons.
The now 21-year-old woman described a fall day back in 2011 that she said she will never forget.
“It’s definitely affected me and my trust in justice,” she said.
The woman, 16 years old at the time, said she trusted then Segdwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Delgado. She said he had helped her through several tough times. Her family also trusted Delgado enough to let her go on a ride along with the veteran of the force,
“We went down back roads for probably two and half hours, just talking,” she told KSN.
However, she said their conversation quickly turned inappropriate.
“He’d say, ‘You know, I bet you’re real good in bed and maybe we need to try it out sometime,'” she said. “He was so into it. He would make comments like, ‘I’m getting a boner right now, you gotta stop talking, you gotta stop talking.'”
At first, the woman said she shrugged Delgado’s comments off, but she said the sexual innuendos continued.
“One time he was rubbing my leg a little. This whole time he just kept talking about sex,” she said.
Once the then teenager’s dad found out about what happened, he said he immediately contacted the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint against Delgado.
“He was using his badge to do what he was doing,” said the woman’s dad.
The sheriff’s office said it did conduct an investigation into the ride-along incident involving Delgado. Officials told KSN they sent a letter to the teenager and her family saying investigators found Delgado was at fault. However, the sheriff’s office said because Delgado’s behavior was not criminal in nature, the record of the incident remained in his personal file and was not made public.
KSN asked the sheriff’s office if Delgado was punished after the conclusion of the investigation. Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, who was not the sheriff at the time of the 2011 investigation, said he could not comment on punishment citing it is a personnel issue.
As for the woman involved in the 2011 incident and her family, Delgado’s Thursday arrest has brought back memories they’ve tried to bury.
“You relive it all over again. Something that you buried in the past, that’s not buried, but something that you have moved on from,” the woman’s dad said. “You can just imagine as a dad, as a parent, you can just imagine what every other parent that is involved now is going through because you lived it yourself.”
The family said they’re frustrated Delgado was not stripped of his badge after the 2011 incident. Now, they’re hoping their story will help other victims heal.
“I think he at least should have gotten fired. I mean he tried to sleep with a minor,” said the woman.
“It’s heartbreaking. I don’t blame myself, but I do wish that this whole situation would have been handled differently from the beginning,” said the woman’s dad.
The 2011 investigation did not lead to Delgado’s Thursday arrest when he was booked on suspicion of official misconduct, rape, sexual batter and sexual exploitation of a child. The case will be presented to the district attorney.
Delgado is no longer listed as being in jail. His bond was set at $100,000.