Shelley man accused of rape enters plea deal

Crime Watch

Delfino Cruz

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

IDAHO FALLS – A man accused of raping a woman while she was drunk has entered a plea deal.

Delfino Cruz, 22, of Shelley, entered into a plea deal to reduce his rape charge to one count of battery with intent to commit a serious felony.

He entered an Alford plea. An Alford plea means he maintains he is innocent but admits the evidence against him would most likely lead to a guilty verdict in a jury trial.

Cruz had also been facing one count of sexual penetration with the use of a foreign object against the victim’s will, also a felony. That charge was dropped as part of the agreement. Cruz must also obtain a psychosexual evaluation and submit to a polygraph for sentencing purposes.

According to court documents, Cruz and the 33-year-old victim had been out drinking with friends Aug. 14, 2016, around 2 a.m. when the rape occurred.

The victim had excused herself from a party at a friend’s house to go outside and smoke because she wasn’t feeling well after having much to drink. Cruz went up to her and after talking for some time started hugging and trying to kiss her.

She told him to stop and that “they weren’t that kind of friends,” according to court documents.

He stopped and the victim asked him to help her into her friend’s car and to go get her friend to drive her home. Cruz lifted and pushed her into the back seat, where she ended up lying face down.

According to court documents, at that point, she was too intoxicated to move and could, “barely keep her eyes open.” It was then Cruz lifted her skirt and ripped her underwear. After she told him to stop, he had intercourse with her.

She was unable to resist. When Cruz finished he told her not to tell anyone what happened and went into the house and told her friend the victim needed a ride home.

During the ride to her home, the victim told her friend what Cruz had done to her.

According to court documents, after reporting the rape to the police, authorities requested she call Cruz and confront him about what happened while they recorded the call.

During the call, she asked if Cruz wore a condom. He replied that he didn’t finish the act as they were in a car. She told him that he had ripped her underwear. He responded by saying, “I know. I get aggressive sometimes.”

According to court documents, when questioned by police Cruz denied doing any of what he was accused of and only wanted to make sure that the victim got home safely. When pressed on the matter, Cruz said he wouldn’t have done it because he wasn’t attracted to her and he doesn’t date girls with her body type.

After being confronted with the recorded phone call Cruz went on to say the victim had wanted him to do sexual things with her but he told her no. Cruz asked the officer conducting the interview if he could press charges against her for trying to have sex with him.

According to court documents shortly after law enforcement interviewed Cruz, he texted the victim and her sister trying to find out where the victim was. Police told him not to contact her again. Police then received a call from the victim saying Cruz had shown up at her place of work.

Police arrived and detained Cruz, and he was again told not to have any contact with the victim.

An arrest warrant was issued a month after the rape allegedly occurred. He was officially charged in November of last year.

Sentencing will take place in November at the Bonneville County Courthouse. He could spend up to 20 years in prison.