A man who groomed his teenage victim online and was described as one of America’s most wanted has been jailed.Advertisement
Gerard Zalewski, 32, manipulated his 13-year-old victim to send him indecent images of her before arranging to meet her in a Bamber Bridge park.
Lancashire Police have told of the abuse his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered during the ordeal.
Zalewski, from Dartford, Kent, pleaded guilty to two counts of penetrative sexual activity with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming, making indecent photographs of a child and false imprisonment.
Preston Crown Court heard how he taped his victim’s mouth with masking tape, put a dog collar round her neck and scrawled the words ‘rape me’ on her leg.
He then proceeded to take pictures of her on his mobile phone.
Gerard Zalewski is wanted by the FBI in America for failing to appear on 29th March 2006, at a sentencing hearing for committing involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old female victim in June 2004, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
On 14th November 2004, Zalewski pleaded guilty to these offences. He was convicted in his absence to serve 5 to 20 years in a state correctional institution, and to surrender to custody by 31st March 2006. When he did not appear, an arrest warrant was issued.
Zalewski was caught in Kent in late June after a man hunt.
Detective chief inspector Vicki Evans of Lancashire Police’s public protection unit said: “Gerard Zalewski is a dangerous and predatory sexual deviant who posed a significant risk to children across the country.”
“He groomed this vulnerable young teenager before arranging to meet her knowing that she was under 16. He then filmed her for his own gratification.”
“We welcome this sentence which will mean the public especially children particularly those who are vulnerable are protected from him for the foreseeable future.
“This case highlights the risks and dangers faced by children with online grooming, it is important for parents, carers and guardians to talk to your children about who they communicate with on-line, who are their friends and how to manage these online relationships.”
Preston Crown Court jailed Zalewski for 12 years and gave him an extended indeterminate licence period.
No decision has been made on whether to extradite him to the United States where an arrest warrant is still outstanding.