Raymond Anthony Delgado, a 57-year-old chiropractor from Bluffton, S.C., who repeatedly raped a 14-year-old St. Augustine girl after winning over her father’s trust, will spend the next 25 years in prison following his sentencing on Friday by St. Johns Circuit Judge Wendy Berger.
The St. Augustine girl was an eighth grader when she went on a cruise for spring break, back in April 2007. On the ship, she met Delgado, 53 at the time. Delgado and the girl’s father struck up a friendship that grew close enough that later that year the girl’s father asked Delgado to be her godfather.
That summer, the girl’s father agreed to send her to South Carolina, where Delgado lived, to stay with him and his girlfriend, and have a chance to hold a job there, in Delgado’s business. “The victim,” Delgado’s arrest report states, “participated in a family style relationship with R. Delgado as they watched movies together, ate dinner together, and other family style activities.”
It was about then, too, that Delgado began to rape the girl, at his home and at his office.
According to the arrest report, Delgado began having oral sex with the girl on multiple occasions, forcing her to perform oral sex on him, and raping her. When the girl returned home to St. Augustine that fall to begin her ninth grade year, Delgado began visiting her there, and staying with her family, in a guest bedroom, repeating a pattern on several subsequent weekends: He would go into the guest bedroom, where the girl was sleeping, wake her up, and rape her, going through various acts to his satisfaction.
In January, Delgado pleaded no contest to two of 10 sex charges against him, seven of them first degree felonies, three of them second degree felonies. He pleaded, in the technical terms of the plea, to the charges of sexual battery, engaging in sex conduct with a minor between ages 12 and 18 by a person in familial or custodial authority, a first degree felony, and to lewd, lascivious molestation, a second degree felony.
His 25 years in prison, should he serve them out, will be followed by 15 years of probation (he would be about 80 when he gets out; he was credited with almost two years’ prison time already served). He was declared a sexual predator. He still faces similar charges in South Carolina.
Assistant State Attorneys Chris France and Adam Warren prosecuted the case. “I’d like to thank the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work on this case,” France said, “and we as a team are so happy to have been able to seek the severe punishment for this sexual offender while at the same time saving the victim from going through a difficult trial.”