Amanuel Tsegay, 37, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court (Sessions House) on Wednesday (May 4), having previously pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault.
Tsegay, of Lords Avenue, Salford, was given a custodial sentence of 12 years and seven months.
He was also given a six-year extended licence period and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, the rape victim said: “Before that night I was happy, I liked to meet new people and make new friends.
“I didn’t have any worries and now that has all changed.”
The rape victim, who was 18 at the time, was attacked by Tsegay on September 22, 2019 after she became separated from her friends on a night out.
She was walking along Lancaster Road when she was approached by Tsegay at the junction of Harris Street.
After a brief interaction, they walked together onto Lord Street, where he raped her on a grassed area at around 4.20am.
The victim explained the incident had left her unable to sleep properly and that she was forced to give up her job due to anxiety.
She added: “Before the attack I was quite independent. What he did has changed all that.
“I don’t feel happy and carefree like I was.
“This is always there.”
An investigation was launched and detectives found Tsegay had travelled into Preston by train from Manchester several hours before the attack.
He was then seen walking around Preston city centre.
He was arrested on October 8, 2019 and subsequently charged with rape.
Detectives viewed several hours of CCTV and, following a media appeal, were also able to trace another victim, aged 19 at the time of the offence, who Tsegay had grabbed and forced himself upon on the same night.
The victim of the sexual assault told the court her sleep had been affected, she had lost her sense of independence and also felt the need to change how she dressed.
In her victim impact statement she added: “I feel apprehensive about people coming near me and feel that I have used up all of my luck and am apprehensive and anxious when I go out of the house.”
Det Insp Fiona Jackson, from Lancashire Police, said she was satisfied with Tsegay’s sentence and commended both victims for their bravery.
“It has taken over two years to reach a conclusion, mainly because of the pandemic, but they have continued to provide support for the process throughout,” she added.
“Amanuel Tsegay is a sexual predator and it is clear from CCTV footage that he was prowling around the centre of Preston looking for vulnerable women.
“I would like to thank my colleagues who worked on this investigation, painstakingly combing through hours of CCTV to find Tsegay.
“I would also like to thank the public who supported and responded to these appeals as they provided vital information.”