A child predator who had been convicted in Montgomery County, but who went on the lam before he was to be sentenced, has been located in England, authorities said Wednesday.
Gerard Zalewski, 33, had pleaded guilty in November 2005 in Montgomery County to charges involving involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor. He fled the country before his sentencing in that case.
He was found in Lancashire, in the northwestern part of England, after he pleaded guilty to a sexual crime involving a child there and was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in jail, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
"The FBI notified us today that Zalewski was sentenced today in England for committing a similar sexual crime against a child," District Attorney Kevin Steele said in the Wednesday statement. "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, a native of Poland, was placed on various criminal watch lists, including the FBI's Most Wanted.
In 2004, when Zalewski was living in Clifton, N.J., he had several sexually explicit online chats with a police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl, Steele's office said. He arranged to meet with the "girl" to have sex with her, and was arrested Aug. 15, 2004.
An ensuing investigation revealed that Zalewski had previous sexual contact with a 13-year-old Bucks County girl he had met online in June 2004. Additional charges were then filed.
Zalewski pleaded guilty Nov. 14, 2005, to the two first-degree felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He was out on bail when he failed to appear in court for his sentencing hearing on March 29, 2006.
He was sentenced in absentia to five to 20 years in state prison, and new charges — flight to avoid punishment and failure to appear — were filed against him.
In England, Zalewski admitted that he groomed a 13-year-old online, then arranged to meet her in a park in June. He then subjected the girl to sexual abuse over several hours, the D.A.'s Office said.