Child predator who fled US is convicted of rape in England

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2016 4:38 PM

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A child predator in Pennsylvania who vanished before his 2006 sentencing was convicted Wednesday in England of raping a 13-year-old girl.

Gerard Zalewski, 33, was sentenced in Lancashire to 12 years in jail, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said.

Zalewski groomed the girl over the internet and manipulated her into sending him explicit photos, police in Lancashire said. They say she met him in a park in June, where he subjected her to hours of sexual abuse. They say he put tape on her mouth, a dog collar around her neck and wrote "rape me" on her leg, and then took pictures of her with his cellphone.

The Polish national was arrested later in June and pleaded guilty in October, officials said.

He has been on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list for crimes against children. Police in England alerted Pennsylvania authorities after Zalewski's June arrest.

"Once the defendant serves his time in England, we want him back to lock him up," District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. "This violent predator will be off the streets for a very long time."

His Pennsylvania arrest stemmed from his sexually-explicit online chats with a police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl. He was arrested after trying to meet the officer for sex.

An investigation revealed he had previous sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl in Bucks County, leading to additional charges.

Montgomery County officials are working with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office to extradite Zalewski after he serves his term in England, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman said.

"Ideally, that is what will happen, but there are no certainties in that," she said.