Scranton, Pa

Philadelphia Man Arrested for Alleged Attempt to Sexually Assault a 13-Year-Old Girl

Posted: July 13, 2023

On June 2, 2023, Bensalem Police arrested John Delgado, 44, of Philadelphia was arrested and charged with criminal attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age, unlawful contact with a minor,  and related charges which were subsequently withdrawn. The prosecution will be moving forward with the charge of statutory sexual assault. Delgado was arraigned and is being held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility on $750,000 bail.

Allegedly, Delgado and the 13-year-old met on a social media dating app where he began a conversation with her. He knew that the girl was only 13 years old when he stated his intentions to meet with her to perform sexual acts. Delgado initially intended to meet up with her on April 10, 2023, at a local hotel but the meeting never happened. The conversation continued over the app and Delgado continued his sexual advances. On June 2, 2023, Delgado made a second attempt to meet in person at a motel on Bristol Pike in Bensalem after the girl’s mother left for work. When Delgado arrived at the motel, he was arrested by the Bensalem police.

In 2018, Pennsylvania enacted the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Act that made it unequivocally clear that there is “no such thing as a child prostitute.” The Safe Harbor Act created new safeguards for child victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, including creating immunity for certain crimes; directing the Department of Human Services to coordinate specialized services for sexually exploited children, in conjunction with county agencies; and requiring training for law enforcement on how to identify and help victims.

First passed in 2000 and reauthorized four times, the Victims Of Trafficking And Violence Protection Act of 2000, (TVPA), is the cornerstone federal human trafficking legislation. Under the TVPA, the term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” includes sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. The exclusion of the requirement of “force, fraud, or coercion” to establish that a person under 18 is a victim of trafficking – or rather, the presumption of coercion – coincides with the principal that a child cannot legally consent to sex and makes it clear that under federal law, any child involved in a commercial sex act is a victim.

The CSE Institute also notes that hotels and motels are among the most common venues for sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. As of 2018, 79% of sex trafficking survivors reported that hotels or motels played a part in their exploitation. Hotels have long existed as a prime location for sex buyers and traffickers to use, and hotels profit off this exploitation. The CSE Institute urges the hospitality industry to stop turning a blind eye to this problem and develop tangible solutions. These solutions could include mandatory training for all employees to help them recognize the signs of sex trafficking and what to do if they suspect trafficking. The CSE Institute recognizes the need for legislation that would require these types of trainings, policies, and procedures to be implemented in every hotel and motel across the country.

The CSE Institute commends diligence of the Bensalem Township Police Department for their efforts in investigating and arresting Delgado. It is vital that law enforcement remain vigilant about protecting the youth in their communities and conducting investigations that target child sexual abuse and rape. Often predators will find their victims by expressing a shared interest on social media and making themselves indispensable as a trusted mentor or friend.  Parents should be aware of what their children are doing online and report any adults they see attempting to have suspect communications.

The CSE Institute will continue to provide updates on this matter.

All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.

Category: News

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