A 39-year-old man has been jailed for raping a woman in her own home while awaiting trial for child sexual abuse offences.
Michael Levy, from Bamber Bridge, contacted the woman on Facebook in November 2022 and after exchanging messages they met up in Blackburn in January 2023.
He ignored her insistence on taking things slowly and employed manipulative tactics to attempt to rush her into starting a relationship with him by bombarding her with messages, following her in his car and turning up at her house uninvited with excuses to be let in.
On the evening of 6 January, after receiving numerous messages from Levy begging to see her, she reluctantly let him visit her at her home. Throughout the evening she messaged her friend telling her how he was making her feel progressively more uncomfortable.
While in the living room he started forcefully kissing and biting her. She told him “no” and asked him to stop several times, but he did not listen and proceeded to rape her. The woman described feeling scared and that she froze.
After the attack she told him to leave her home and reported him to the police.
When he was arrested and interviewed, Levy denied raping the woman, claiming that all sexual activity had been consensual.
By attending the woman's home, he had breached his Crown Court bail conditions by entering a restricted area as he was awaiting trial for sexual offences involving two young girls after he had also infiltrated his way into the lives of two other families.
Following that trial, which concluded in March this year, Levy was found guilty of 13 sexual offences against children under 13 years between 2019 and 2021.
In July he was found guilty of rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent against the woman.
Today (September 4), he has been sentenced to an extended sentence of 23 years, consisting of 18 years imprisonment and a five-year extended licence period.
He was also issued with an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offender's register for life for all the offences.
A spokesperson for the CPS said: “Specialist prosecutors know there is no typical response to rape and every victim can act differently including freezing or not screaming for help.
“Before the case was charged, prosecutors and police considered early on that Levy’s defence may look to raise this point before the jury.
“During the trial, we explained to the jury that the woman’s behaviour was not untypical in order to combat any harmful assumptions about consent.
“The prosecutors and police also worked closely together using the offender-centric approach to case building which involves looking closely at the actions of the suspect both before, during and after the assault.
“This included collating CCTV footage showing that Levy was following the woman, unbeknown to her, before he attended her home.
“We also recovered messages that he deleted from his own device shortly after he committed the offences.”
Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “Here in the North West we are determined to deliver justice for more victims and support them through the criminal justice system, transforming the way we investigate and prosecute rape cases.
“We know we still have a long way to go to drive lasting change and we will continue to work with our local police forces and listen carefully to partners and victims as we progress. The work we have been doing through genuine partnership with police colleagues is bearing fruit.”
Ruby Mckeague, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the North West Rape and Serious Sexual offences Unit, said: "Michael Levy is an extremely dangerous sexual predator.
"He used tactics like love bombing and gaslighting to infiltrate his way into the woman's life and raped her in her own home whilst her children slept upstairs. He committed the offences whilst awaiting trial for sexual offences against children, which demonstrates the danger he poses to both women and children.
"The CPS and Lancashire Police worked closely together to build a strong case to put before the jury including CCTV and telephony evidence, including the messages he had sent to the woman. After careful consideration of that evidence the jury found him guilty.
"Levy has never shown any remorse for his actions insisting that people had simply made up lies about him. I would like to thank the various witnesses who have come forward, their evidence has enabled us to bring him to justice.
“I sincerely hope that following his sentence all those who have fallen prey to his predatory behaviour can now begin to put their trauma behind them and begin to move on with their lives."