Seven years and five months in prison for Northampton rapist
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A rapist who took four years to admit to his crime after fleeing the country has been sentenced to seven years and five months in prison.
Zanis Janis Stepans, 51, previously of Raymond Road, Northampton, met the woman for the first time on the evening of November 18, 2017, when he had organised to go around to her house for a couple of friendly drinks.
However, during the course of the evening, Stepans raped the woman in the living room of her own home.
He left shortly afterwards, before – incredibly, ringing her later on “to check she was okay”.
An investigation was launched by Northamptonshire Police and Stepans was arrested and charged with rape.
However he fled the country in an attempt to evade justice, eventually being found in Germany in February 2021 when he was then remanded into custody for trial.
Throughout the court process he maintained his innocence, claiming the woman had come onto him.
Only at the eleventh hour did he decide to tell the truth and plead guilty.
He was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court this week for rape and for breaching his bail, to seven years and five months in prison.
Lead Investigator, DS Dan Spires, said: “This has been an exceptionally drawn-out experience for the victim in this case and I would like to commend her for her bravery in seeing this through from 2017 until sentencing this week.
“She has shown an incredible amount of resolve and I hope she realises that it is her courage that has led to a dangerous offender being taken off the streets, unable to harm anyone else.
“Here at Northamptonshire Police, we take incidents of rape and sexual assault really seriously. We always treat reports with the sensitivity and confidence they deserve and I hope this case shows that we will not stop until justice is served against the offenders.”
Detective Inspector Simon Barnes, said: "DS Spires is a prime example of the dedication and perseverance we at Northamptonshire Police CID give to all victims of crimes.
"He never gave up the hunt for the offender and pursued all of the legal and procedural requirements to locate, arrest and extradite Stepans back to the UK so he could face justice.
"DS Spires’ investigation and preparation of the case file resulted in this guilty plea and I commend him and the team for their exceptional work. I am delighted he got to deliver the good news to the victim."
*This article and custody image have been released with the support and agreement of the victim, who has life-long anonymity as a victim of sexual abuse.*