The wife of a registered sex offender has been jailed, accused of failing to report her husband’s alleged sexual abuse of an 11-year-old relative and instead instructing the girl not to tell anyone.
Debra Delafuente was arrested Tuesday on a warrant accusing her of failing to report child abuse.
Failing to report child abuse is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
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Delafuente’s husband, 56-year-old Oscar Delafuente, was arrested in May and indicted June 23 on a charge of indecency with a child/fondling. He remains in the Tarrant County Jail with bail set at $25,000.
Oscar Delafuente previously was charged, in June 2004, with aggravated sexual assault of a child by threat. Texas Department of Public Safety records indicate the victim in that case was a 3-year-old girl.
He pleaded guilty to indecency-fondling in July 2005 and was sentenced to deferred adjudication probation. His probation was revoked in July 2008, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In the latest case, the 11-year-old girl’s mother called police in late April, reporting that her daughter said that she had been “touched on her private parts” by Oscar Delafuente, a relative, while visiting his Fort Worth home.
In a subsequent interview with a forensic interviewer, the girl said the touching had occurred while spending the night at the Delafuentes’ home sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The victim related that she froze for a couple of minutes because she couldn’t believe somebody she loved would do something like that to her.
Fort Worth police Detective W.K. Maddox
She said she had been sleeping between the couple when she awoke to find Oscar Delafuente touching her.
“The victim related that she froze for a couple of minutes because she couldn’t believe somebody she loved would do something like that to her,” Crimes Against Children Detective W.K. Maddox wrote in arrest warrant affidavits for the couple.
The girl said she rolled over to let Oscar Delafuente know that she was awake and that he stopped touching her.
The next morning, the girl told Debra Delafuente what had happened, but the woman “told her not to tell anyone,” the affidavit states.
The girl’s mother told police that her daughter had spent almost every other weekend at the Delfuentes’ house but suddenly became very reluctant to go there. She said she repeatedly questioned her daughter about what was wrong and her daughter eventually confided in her about being touched.
The girl also told her mother that she had told Debra Delafuente about the touching but that the woman had told her that “Oscar probably just thought the victim was Debra and instructed the victim not to tell anyone about it,” the affidavit states.
The mother told police that she called Debra Delafuente to confront her about not doing anything regarding her daughter’s outcry. She told police that Debra Delafuente responded, “I don’t know what to tell you. It won’t happen again.”
The mother told police that she hasn’t let her daughter see the Delafuentes since the outcry.
In a June 5 interview with Maddox, Debra Delafuente denied that the girl ever told her about being touched by Oscar Delafuente. She said the girl had once told her that Oscar Delafuente had “made her uncomfortable” and that she had advised the girl to stay away from him.
Maddox wrote that the 11-year-old girl’s account of what happened has been consistent throughout the investigation and “her credibility is unquestioned.”
Debra Delafuente remained in the Mansfield jail Thursday with bail set at $2,500.
To report abuse to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, call 800-252-5400 or go online to The Texas Abuse Hotline website.