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Serving police officer pleads guilty to attempted rape and assault of woman

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Serving police officer Ernesto Ceraldi has admitted attempted rape and ABH
Serving police officer Ernesto Ceraldi has admitted attempted rape and ABH

A SERVING police officer has pleaded guilty to attempted rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH).

It follows an investigation by detectives in the East Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Team.

Police said they were called to an address in Edenfield at 1.23am on April 2 following reports a woman had been attacked and subjected to a serious sexual assault.

A 43-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of rape and ABH, having met his victim at a pub in the village.

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Ernesto Ceraldi, 43, from Darwen, was charged with rape and ABH and remanded into custody.

Ceraldi is a specialised firearms officer and dog handler with Greater Manchester Police, and since his arrest he has been lodging at the Greater Manchester Police training centre at Sedgley Park, near Prestwich.

Following further investigation and consultation with the CPS the indictment was amended to attempted rape and ABH.

Today (Wednesday, May 4), Ceraldi appeared before a judge at Preston Crown Court where he pleaded guilty on the full facts of the case.

He was remanded into custody to be sentenced on June 22.

Detective Inspector Carole Langhorn, of the East Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Team, said: “This was an abhorrent crime committed against a woman in a place where she was entitled to feel safe.

"The appalling level of violence used by Ceraldi was particularly shocking.

“We have carried out a thorough and detailed investigation to ensure Ceraldi is brought to justice and I would like to thank my colleagues, and those from the Crown Prosecution Service, for their professionalism throughout this case.

“Lancashire Police are committed to protecting women and girls from harm. I hope today’s outcome will encourage other victims of sexual violence and abuse to come forward knowing that they will be listened to, they will be believed and we will put the perpetrator before the courts.”

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