Northeast Times

Convicted child rapist accidentally released

A con­victed child rap­ist named in a re­cent front-page art­icle in the North­east Times was er­ro­neously re­leased from pris­on on Oct. 14, just 24 days after a Phil­adelphia judge had ordered him to serve at least 11-1/2 months be­hind bars.

The 14-year-old vic­tim’s fam­ily learned of Rick Jastem­ski’s re­lease from the city’s Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity that night via an auto­mated tele­phone call at about 10 p.m. The city pris­on trans­ferred Jastem­ski, 23, in­to the cus­tody of of­ficers from the state’s Board of Pro­ba­tion and Pa­role, who took the Megan’s Law of­fend­er to his par­ents’ Academy Gar­dens home, where he was placed un­der house ar­rest with elec­tron­ic mon­it­or­ing.

The vic­tim’s par­ents no­ti­fied the as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney who pro­sec­uted the case. The ADA con­tac­ted Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Di­ana L. An­halt, who ordered Jastem­ski to re­turn to court last Fri­day, then sent him back to CFCF.

It re­mains un­clear how both the Phil­adelphia Pris­on Sys­tem, along with Pro­ba­tion and Pa­role, got the or­der to re­lease Jastem­ski.

“Right now, we’re not wor­ried about point­ing fin­gers. We’re just glad he’s back be­hind bars,” the vic­tim’s mom told the Times on Monday.

Ac­cord­ing to PPS Com­mis­sion­er Louis Giorla, the pris­ons re­ceived a “ju­di­cial or­der” from the court on Sept. 20 to re­lease Jastem­ski, ef­fect­ive im­me­di­ately. In keep­ing with stand­ard pro­ced­ure, the pris­on con­firmed the or­der with Pro­ba­tion and Pa­role, which would’ve got­ten the same or­der, Giorla said.

Jastem­ski re­mained at CFCF while Pro­ba­tion and Pa­role “set up” the house-ar­rest site and elec­tron­ic mon­it­or­ing, which is also stand­ard pro­ced­ure, Giorla said.

The vic­tim, who was 10 at the time of the crimes, and his fam­ily live about 10 minutes from Jastem­ski’s home.

Court re­cords show that on Sept. 20, An­halt sen­tenced Jastem­ski to serve 11-1/2 to 23 months in pris­on, fol­lowed by 18 years of re­port­ing pro­ba­tion, in­clud­ing five years of strict house ar­rest and elec­tron­ic mon­it­or­ing. An­halt ordered that Jastem­ski will be al­lowed to leave the house only for “treat­ment, ther­apy, med­ic­al ap­point­ments and re­li­gious ser­vices.” He must re­port as a Megan’s Law of­fend­er for life.

In June, Jastem­ski pleaded guilty to rape. As a 19-year-old, he lived with his par­ents next door to the vic­tim and at­tacked the boy three times dur­ing sum­mer 2009. The vic­tim re­por­ted the ab­use in March 2012. An Oct. 9 art­icle in the North­east Times re­por­ted on the vic­tim’s re­cov­ery and his ef­forts to raise aware­ness about child sexu­al ab­use. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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