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‘America’s Most Wanted’ fugitive from Montco caught in UK after raping teen

Montco prosecutors said after convicted rapist serves sentence, they will lock him up again.

Gerard Zalewski's 2006 mugshot before he fled the States. He was sentenced this weMontco DA's Office

A convicted child predator who skipped bail in Montgomery County and fled the country in 2006 was sentenced this week in England on child rape charges, prosecutors announced.

Gerard Zalewski, 33, will be targeted for extradition back to the U.S. after completing his 12-year sentence to serve even more time on charges of sexual contact with an underage girl, vowed Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.

“The FBI notified us today that Zalewski was sentenced today in England for committing a similar sexual crime against a child,” Steele announced Wednesday. “Once the defendant serves his time in England, we want him back to lock him up. This violent predator will be off of the streets for a very long time.”

Zalewski previously pleaded guilty in Montgomery County court for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old Bucks County girl. But he never showed up for his March 2006 sentencing hearing, where he was sentenced in absentia to five to 20 years in prison.

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He was placed on the FBI’s “America’s Most Wanted” list while on the lam, before being located in Lancashire, England.

Montco prosecutors first charged Zalewski in August 2004 after an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old girl arranged a meeting to have sex. Zalewski was arrested when he showed up for the meeting. He was later found to have previously had sexual contact with the Bucks County girl.

After fleeing authorities, Zalewski “groomed” a 13-year-old victim he met over the internet before meeting her in a park to have sex in June 2016, according to law enforcement from Lancashire in the UK.

Zalewski “subjected his vulnerable victim to sexual abuse over several hours including taping her mouth with masking tape, putting a dog collar around her neck and writing the words ‘rape me’ on her leg. He then took pictures of her on his mobile phone,” the Lancashire constabularysaid.

He again fled, but was arrested in Kent after a manhunt and later pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday.

Montco prosecutors say new charges for fleeing his original sentence will be filed against Zalewski, possibly adding up to 14 years to his total sentence when is returned to the States.

 
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