Man sentenced to 20 years of prison for traveling to Bradenton for sex

jdeleon@bradenton.comMay 24, 2014 


MANATEE -- Roberto Delerme traveled from his home in Pinellas County to Bradenton to have sex with a woman and her 11-year-old niece.

The surprise for him, though: The woman was actually an undercover agent as part of sting operation targeting predators soliciting children for sex.

Delerme, 31, pled no contest and was convicted of attempted sexual battery, resisting arrest without violence and traveling to meet a parent to solicit or entice a child to commit a sex act in April. On Thursday, Delerme was sentenced to 20 years in state prison to be

followed by five years of sex offender probation. Once released from prison, he also will have to register as a sexual predator.

Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Siegal said he was pleased the judge accepted his recommendation for sentencing.

"The reason we have this type of cases is to catch these types," Siegal said.

Delerme was arrested on Sept. 13, 2012, as part the first Green Sheppard undercover child sex sting operation by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

"Every year it gets better and better," Siegal said. "The way the police conduct their investigation, it is very fluid."

Delerme had originally been charged with traveling to seduce, solicit and entice a child to commit a sex act, use of a computer to solicit a parent to commit a sex act and five counts of child pornography.

Child pornography found on his phone at the time of his arrest, however, could not be used in the case because law enforcement didn't have a search warrant until after the photos had already been located on the phone.

The photos did picture him engaged in sex acts with a woman and her 11-year-old daughter, who are both known to him.

In a letter to Judge Charles Roberts, Delerme pleaded for mercy.

"I am extremely remorseful for my actions, and I would be more than grateful for the opportunity to be restored to my family, the community and my church," Delerme wrote. "I can assure and promise you with everything in my soul that this was a horrible mistake that will never again occur for the duration of my life. I plead and ask for the opportunity to make a difference in the world by finishing college, attending schooling to be a pastor and being a positive influence to all people in the community."

Investigators say that Delerme made clear during the undercover sting that he wanted to engage in sexual acts with what he thought were a woman and her 11-year-old niece, according to an arrest report.

Delerme arrived to the agreed upon home and rang the doorbell, the report said. When sheriff's deputies wearing marked vests attempted to apprehend him, he ran away.

He only made it 30 feet before deputies caught him, the report also said.

As he was being arrested investigators say he said, "I'm only here for the older girl."

Calls to Delerme's attorney, assistant public defender Jennifer Sanchez, were not returned.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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