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Former police officer sentenced for attempted rape and assault

|News, Sexual offences

A former Greater Manchester police officer has been sentenced for attempting to rape a woman in Lancashire in April this year.

Ernesto Ceraldi 44, who was a serving police officer at the time of the offences, has been sentenced today at Preston crown court to a total of five years and four months in prison for attempted rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. An indefinite restraining order was also made.

On 1 April 2022, Ceraldi met a woman in a pub in Edenfield, Lancashire. He went back to her home where he viciously assaulted her and attempted to rape her in the early hours of the 2 April 2022.

The woman managed to get away and ran out of the house. Cerardi chased after her and continued to assault her. A neighbour heard her screams and came to her aid as Ceraldi fled back into the woman’s address, where he was arrested a short time later.

Ceraldi denied assaulting her in his police interview and claimed any sexual contact was consensual.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked closely with Lancashire police to build a strong case against Ceraldi, giving him no other option but to admit what he had done when he appeared in court.

The woman, who suffered bruising and swelling as a result of the attack, said in her victim personal statement: "Whilst the bruises and physical effects of that morning have healed, I don’t know if the mental effects ever will. I can no longer go out and return home after dark on my own, someone must come into the house with me to put me at ease. I have had to have additional security measures fitted to make me feel safe in the place that I call home and where I am entitled to feel safe.”

Howard Gough, District Crown Prosecutor with CPS North West’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit said: “Ernesto Ceraldi carried out a vicious attack on a woman in her own home; a place where she should have been safe.

“I would like to commend her courage in coming forward and speaking about her ordeal, I hope that as Ceraldi begins this prison sentence she can begin to put the trauma behind her and start to move on with her life.

“The CPS are committed to prosecuting those who use violence to control and abuse women and hope this woman’s bravery inspires anyone who has suffered sexual or violent abuse to come forward and see their attackers brought to justice.”

Notes to editors

  • CERALDI Ernesto D.o.B. 27/4/78
  • The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to closing the gap between the number of cases being reported and those going to court, to make sure more victims get justice.

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