A decade ticked by before three sisters were able to know for sure that their sexually abusive babysitter would stay behind bars for good for what a prosecutor called "unthinkable" crimes.
Andrew Kowalczyk, 44, was sentenced to 270 years in prison on Monday inside Portland, Oregon’s federal court. The move ends a case that had been decided late last year by a jury who needed only 20 minutes to find the man guilty of producing child pornography after a four-day trial.
“One victim in this case asked Kowalczyk 'why' he committed these horrible acts of violence,” FBI Agent Renn Cannon said in a statement, referring to the three – an 8-year-old and a set of 2-year-old twins at the time they were victimized by Kowalczyk. “We can finally say to this now [to the] young woman that Kowalczyk will never be able to hurt a child again. The bravery, resolve and strength this young woman demonstrated throughout this investigation is a big reason why”
The hulking 480-pound, wheelchair-bound Kowalczyk successfully managed to create a logjam in his criminal case; and prosecutors say he even tried to put a hit on a federal prosecutor.
Indeed, Kowalczyk filed exhaustive motions to suppress evidence, switched up defense attorneys more than a dozen times, and summoned the help of his father to fetch his “incriminating hard drives,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
That statement added that Kowalczyk attempted to solicit "the murder of an Assistant U.S. Attorney.”
U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams called Kowalczyk’s harm to his victims as “unthinkable.”
He stated that the convict attempted to use “every conceivable tactic to delay prosecution and rob his young victims of the justice they deserve.”
However, after the judge's decision, Williams said the man’s “attempts to delay punishment for his horrific crimes have ended.”
The oldest sister, now 23, appeared in court and told the judge at the sentencing, “Andrew is evil itself. He deserves to rot in prison for the devilish things he’s done to me and my baby sisters,” The Oregonian reported of the man who accrued 650 images and videos of child porn.
After he was hit with the sentence, the paper reported that Kowalczyk flipped his middle finger at a judge, and as deputies wheeled him away he barked, “You’re a corrupt piece of [expletive].”
Oxygen’s attempts to reach any of Kowalczyk’s attorneys were unsuccessful.
Federal authorities maintain that they discovered Kowalczyk’s sexual abuse back in December of 2008, after the man was pulled over during an out-of-state traffic stop after committing multiple infractions, according to the statement.
Kowalczyk was apparently driving without a license, had allegedly given the police officer a fake name and refused to get out of his car.
Then, Kowalczyk “fled, leading police on a high-speed chase that was later terminated for public safety reasons,” the statement notes.
Local authorities in Washington state caught up to Kowalczyk, who had checked into a motel.
They discovered he had outstanding warrants, including one for failing to appear in unlawful use of a weapon case in Oregon.
A month later, Puyallup Police Department detectives started looking deeper into Kowalczyk.
They performed a series of forensic searches on Kowalczyk’s confiscated luggage and electronics.
“The search returned a tremendous amount of child pornography including a number of images and videos that appeared to be homemade,” the prosecutors stated. “Numerous videos and images depicted an unidentified male sexually abusing two very young children.”
To identify the Kowalczyk’s victims, Puyallup Police publicized some of the non-pornographic images.
That effort inspired a mother to come forward claiming “she knew Kowalczyk and that he had regular access to her daughters in Portland,” the statement reads.
The mother told authorities that Kowalczyk had befriended her back in 2003 as a pal of her late brother.
Two years after they met, the mother and her children hit hard times and were in the process of rebuilding their lives while taking refuge at a domestic violence shelter.
It was Kowalczyk who prosecutors say offered to front them the money to cover the cost of their stays at a Portland motel.
But while he doled out charity, he sexually preyed on the family.
Between April and the beginning of June in 2005, Kowalczyk was tasked with watching the mother’s children on his own “while she searched for work or housing,” prosecutors say.
At first, the mother didn’t suspect anything untoward was happening.
In fact, she believed Kowalczyk doted on the girls, seeing him by buy them necessities like clothing, shoes, diapers, and even a birthday cake for the twins’ second birthday.
“The cake—with the victims’ names on it—appeared in some of the non-pornographic images found on Kowalczyk’s devices,” according to the statement.
Prosecutors proved during trial that Kowalczyk snapped selfies featuring him “abusing two of the minor victims” at multiple locations.
The mother’s third daughter was also featured in sexually explicit photos believed to have been shot “at [Kowalczyk’s] apartment in Southeast Portland," prosecutors stated.
In March of that year, a federal search warrant was issued to search a storage locker Kowalczyk rented in Woodlawn, Washington.
There, investigators found a sofa, a mirror and several shirts that were also seen in the man's pornographic images saved on his various devices, according to the statement.
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