By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau man described as a pastor at a former downtown church is accused of repeatedly assaulting a young girl over a period of years beginning when she was 10 years old, court records show.
The girl described the man as “Pastor Ray” and said he was a leader at Song Nulife Gospel Oasis, a church that was located on Scott Street in the Landmark Building and held worship services on Saturday mornings for several years. The girl was unaware that the man, identified by police as Delfino R. O’Day-Figueroa, is a lifetime sex offender registrant with a prior felony conviction for assaulting children, and said she believed he was a pastor there until roughly 2019.
The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry shows O’Day-Figueroa, 53, was convicted in 1995 in Milwaukee County of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Online court records also show a 2008 conviction on fourth-degree sexual assault charges in Marathon County. He is also known by the name Delfino Figueroa.
The alleged victim, now 18, spoke to police in August after O’Day-Figueroa approached her at a store where she works as a clerk. She told investigators that the abuse began in 2014 and continued for several years and began after her father had medical issues and O’Day-Figueroa began coming to her home to help the family. The alleged victim and several of her friends frequently stayed at O’Day-Figueroa’s home, where he lived with a woman he claimed was his wife, court documents state.
The alleged victim’s father told police he stopped the visits after learning from a neighbor that O’Day-Figueroa was a sex offender.
On Nov. 3, prosecutors filed charges of repeated sexual assault of a child against O’Day-Figueroa. He is being charged as a persistent repeater, because he was previously convicted of a serious child sex offense. Because of that factor, O’Day-Figueroa could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The state will seek to place the defendant on lifetime supervision if he is convicted, according to the criminal complaint.
During an initial appearance last week, Reserve Judge Jill Falstad ordered O’Day-Figueroa held on a $25,000 cash bond. He remains behind bars.
A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 9.
Wausau Pilot & Review has been unable to independently verify O’Day-Figueroa’s position at the former church. The phone number for the organization has been disconnected.