Serial Rapist Sentenced to Decades in Prison
CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County prosecutors asked a judge to keep a serial rapist behind bars for decades.
Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Delbert Buckwald, 48, to the maximum on each of the three rape counts, and they also asked that the prison terms be served consecutively.
And prosecutors also wanted the new sentence to not begin until Buckwald is finished serving the remaining four years on his current rape sentence.
At his sentencing Wednesday, the prosecution’s wishes were granted.
Buckwald received 10 years on each of three counts for a total of 30 consecutive years. That term will begin after his current sentence is over.
Once the next 30 years are served, Buckwald will be eligible for parole. However, if it is not granted, he could receive a maximum of another 45 years behind bars, for a total of up to 75 years in prison.
Buckwald pleaded guilty last week to three cold case rapes from the mid-90s after he was linked to the attacks through DNA evidence. In all the cases, the victims were strangers whom he kidnapped off near west side streets.
One of the victims in the old rape cases was 12 years old when she was attacked by Buckwald on Jan. 4, 1994. In 2007, Cleveland police sex crimes detectives identified Buckwald as the rapist, but said the victim had moved to Puerto Rico. Police at that time said the case will remain open but inactive until the victim comes forward for prosecution.
In September of this year, the victim who lives in Puerto Rico told police she still has family members living in the Cleveland area and wants Buckwald brought to justice so he couldn’t harm anyone else.
The old rape kits were recently re-examined as part of an effort to solve cold case rapes.
The county’s DNA Cold Case Task Force sent the samples to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations lab where the DNA was processed and matched to Buckwald, whose DNA profile was already in a criminal database.
Buckwald was previously convicted of raping two other women in 2002.