Pervert jailed for sex attack on girl, 13, in Preston park

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​A pervert who subjected a teenage girl to an horrific sex attack in a Lancashire park was on the FBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ list.

Gerard Zalewski, 32, of Dartford, Kent, fled to the UK to avoid jail for a sex attack on a child in the USA in 2006.

The FBI put the fugitive on their Most Wanted list, but once in the UK he was able to continue his vile behaviour.

Earlier this year, he met a 13-year-old girl online, who he then groomed and then abused in a sickening attack in Withy Grove Park, Bamber Bridge.

Today he was jailed for 12 years by a judge at Preston Crown Court.

Zalewski groomed his 13 year old victim over the internet, and persuaded her to send a number of indecent images of herself to him.

The FBI Wanted poster for Gerard Zalewski
Gerard Zalewski, 32, of Dartford in Kent has been jailed for 12 years for child sex offences. The offences were committed in a park in Bamber Bridge. Zalewski was also wanted by the FBI for similar offences in the USA

The FBI Wanted poster for Gerard Zalewski Gerard Zalewski, 32, of Dartford in Kent has been jailed for 12 years for child sex offences. The offences were committed in a park in Bamber Bridge. Zalewski was also wanted by the FBI for similar offences in the USA

He then arranged to meet her in a park in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, in June.

Zalewski, of Dartford in Kent, subjected his vulnerable victim to sexual abuse over several hours including taping her mouth with masking tape, putting a dog collar around her neck and writing the words “rape me” on her leg.

He then took pictures of her on his mobile phone.

Following the incident Zalewski fled but was arrested in Kent on June ​21 after a man-hunt.

He pleaded guilty in October 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.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court today (Tuesda​y​) for sentence.

He was imprisoned for a total of 12 years and given an extended indeterminate licence period.

Zalewski is wanted by the FBI in America for failing to appear on March 29 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.

​In 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.

​​Detective Chief Inspector Vicki Evans, of Lancashire Constabulary’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 today’s 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 on-line 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.”