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Parents of Rape Suspect Arrested

The couple threatened and tried to bribe the alleged victim, police say.

October 03, 2003|Michael Krikorian | Times Staff Writer

A Denver gynecologist and his wife were arraigned in a Torrance courthouse Thursday on charges of threatening and attempting to bribe a woman who claims their son raped her, police said.

James Joseph Delaney, 67, and Gail Irene Delaney, 64, were arrested Wednesday night at the Prado Recreation Area in San Bernardino County, Sgt. Paul Wolcott of the Hermosa Beach Police Department said. They were being held at the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles in lieu of $5-million bail each. They are accused of trying to dissuade a witness and making criminal threats, Wolcott said. Their preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 23.

Their son, Aran Delaney, 27, who worked as a teacher at the American Martyrs Catholic School in Manhattan Beach, is accused of raping a South Bay woman June 29. He is free on $250,000 bail and awaiting a preliminary hearing on Oct. 15.

Police said Delaney's parents showed up at the residence of the alleged rape victim on Sept. 23 and that Gail Delaney handed the woman a letter.

"She stayed on the woman's front porch while the victim read a first letter that she was handed, then a second and a third," said Wolcott.

Increasingly, the letters became more threatening against the woman, her son and family, and ended up offering money for the woman to drop the case, Wolcott said.

"It was really a weird crime," said Wolcott.

When the woman began calling to a neighbor for help, he said, Gail Delaney ran to a car where her husband was waiting. The neighbor jotted down the car's license plate number before it pulled away.

The woman notified police immediately, Wolcott said.

Detectives alerted police agencies that patrol routes between California and Colorado and the Delaneys were arrested near Chino, Wolcott said.

"The Hermosa Beach police and the courts view this type of behavior as abhorrent and we want to assure any victims and witnesses [that] this kind of behavior that is alleged against the Delaneys will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted," said Wolcott, noting the high bail for the couple. "It's unacceptable for any witness to be put in a situation where they fear for their lives."

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