A convicted child predator who had been a fugitive since skipping a sentencing hearing in Montgomery County in 2006 was sentenced in England Wednesday for raping another child.
Gerald Zalewski, 33, was sentenced in Lancashire, England to 12 years in jail, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
“The FBI notified us today that Zalewski was sentenced today in England for committing a similar sexual crime against a child,” said Steele. “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.”
The initial charges against Zalewski in Montgomery County stem from an investigation in July and August of 2004. Officials say Zalewski had several sexually explicit Internet chats with a police officer posing as a 12-year-old. Zalewski was arrested on August 15, 2004 after he arranged a meeting with the undercover detective in order to have sex.
Investigators also determined Zalewski had previously sexually assaulted a 13-year-old Bucks County girl he met online in June of 2004 and more charges were filed against him. Zalewski pleaded guilty on November 14, 2005 to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Zalewski never showed up to his sentencing hearing on March 29, 2006 however and was then charged with flight to avoid punishment and default in required appearance. The District Attorney’s Office placed him on watch lists, including the FBI’s “America’s Most Wanted.”
Police say Zalewski was convicted of a similar crime in England after he contacted another 13-year-old over the Internet, manipulated her into sending him indecent images and arranged to meet her in a park in June of 2016. When the two met, Zalewski sexually abused the girl for several hours. Investigators say he put masking tape on the girl’s mouth, put a dog collar around her neck and wrote the words, “rape me” on her leg. He then took pictures of the girl with his cellphone.
Zalewski then fled after the incident but was arrested in Kent, England on June 21 after a manhunt. He pleaded guilty in October to penetrative sexual activity with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming, making indecent photographs of a child and false imprisonment. He was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years.