Man jailed for grooming and sexual abusing teenager in Bamber Bridge

06/12/2016

A 33 year old man has today been sentenced to eight years imprisonment at Preston Crown Court for sexually abusing a 13 year old girl in a Bamber Bridge park in June.

Gerard Zalewski pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to meeting a child following sexual grooming, two counts of sexual activity with a child, false imprisonment, two counts of making indecent images of a child and possessing over 3,000 indecent, prohibited and extreme pornographic images.

Sophie Lorimer, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit said: "Gerard Zalewski groomed this young girl on social media over several weeks. During their exchange of messages, which soon turned sexually graphic, he persuaded her to send him dozens of indecent photographs of herself.

"He travelled 240 miles to the Preston area in order to meet her where he lured her to a park and held her against her will in a secluded area for several hours.  During this time he subjected her to a series of extreme acts of degrading sexual abuse.  During this prolonged ordeal he used threats, force and violence against her whilst taking photographs and videos of her on his phone.

"Gerard Zalewski is an extremely dangerous man who was willing to go to extraordinary lengths in order to abuse this young girl.  He committed these shocking offences whilst on the run from the USA for over 10 years for very similar offences. Today he has been taken off the streets for a significant length of time where he can no longer pose a risk to society.

"The sexual abuse of young people strips away their innocence and could have a long lasting impact on their lives, not only at the time but well into their adult lives. The CPS and police are dedicated to protecting children and young people and will continue to work together to bring to justice those who commit such appalling offences."

The overall sentence imposed on Gerard Zalewski is a 12 year determinate sentence including 8 years custody and 4 years extended licence.