A man has been jailed for 20 years and made subject to an eight-year extended licence after being found guilty of sex offences against four women.
Saulius Zilinskas, 41, of Laindon, was found guilty at Basildon Crown Court of three counts of rape, two of attempted rape, two counts of false imprisonment, two assaults and one count of sexual touching.
Three victims were assaulted on Saturday, February 21, 2015 in Laindon. Two of the attacks happened within 20 minutes of each other.
During the first incident which happened shortly before 8pm, a 23-year-old woman was approached by Zilinskas in an alleyway near Spire Road.
He tried to talk to her before grabbing her by the hair and punching her in the stomach.
Two men heard what was happening and the man ran off as they came to the victim’s aid.
At 8.15pm a 16-year-old girl was then approached on Hatterill, near a bus stop, close to the train station by Zilinskas who tried to talk to her.
He then tried to drag her into nearby bushes before another two young men intervened and he again ran off.
Prior to this just before 2pm, Zilinskas had also groped a 27-year-old woman in a shop.
Yesterday’s sentencing also relates to the rape of another woman in London in January 2005.
The Senior Investigating Officer Chief Inspector Scott Cannon, of Essex Police, said: “Zilinskas is a highly dangerous sexual predator, and the streets are undoubtedly safer with him in prison. This was the right outcome for the victims and will hopefully encourage more people to come forward and report offences.
“I would like to thank the victims for their courage and for putting their trust in Essex Police and my investigation team. I would also like to the thank the four witnesses who came to the aid of two of the victims during the attacks and I have little doubt their bravery and intervention stopped them being raped in the street.
“This was an 18 month investigation and advanced forensic work was a significant factor in building the case against Zilinskas. I am proud of the relentless hard work and complete determination shown by my team, particularly the officer in the case, Dc Grant Hawkins, who worked tirelessly to ensure this dangerous sex offender was convicted”.