Lancashire

FBI 'most wanted' man sexually abused girl, 13, in Lancashire

Gerard Zalewski and FBI poster Image copyright Lancashire Police/FBI
Image caption Gerard Zalewski is a "dangerous and predatory sexual deviant" who groomed and abused a 13-year-old girl, police said

One of the FBI's "most wanted" men has been jailed for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in Lancashire.

Gerard Zalewski, 33, of Dartford, Kent, sexually abused the girl over several hours in June after taping her mouth shut and taking pictures of her on his phone, police said.

Zalewski is wanted in the US after being sentenced in absentia 10 years ago for abusing another girl aged 13.

He was jailed for eight years plus four years on licence.

He had groomed his victim over the internet and got her to send indecent images of herself before arranging to meet her in a park in the Lancashire village of Bamber Bridge, police said.

During the abuse, Zalewski put a dog collar around the girl's neck and wrote the words "rape me" on her leg.

He was arrested in Kent on 21 June after a man-hunt.

Zalewski pleaded guilty in October to two counts of sexual activity with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming, making and possessing indecent photographs of a child and false imprisonment.

He was sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

Image copyright FBI
Image caption Zalewski was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Pennsylvania in 2004

Zalewski, who is originally from Poland, is one of 28 men on an FBI "most wanted" list for crimes against children.

An arrest warrant was issued for him in the US for failing to appear at a sentencing hearing in 2006 after admitting sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 2004.

He was ordered in his absence to serve five to 20 years, but did not surrender to custody.

No decision has been made on extradition at this stage, police said.

Det Ch Insp Vicki Evans said Zalewski is a "dangerous and predatory sexual deviant who posed a significant risk to children".

"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," she said.

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