April 2021

Mum’s torment after Scarborough children’s entertainer raped and abused her young daughter

A mother has spoken out after a Scarborough children’s entertainer was found guilty of raping and sexually abusing her daughter.

On Monday a jury at York Crown Court determined that John-Paul Zegstroo, 27, was guilty of eight separate charges relating to abuse of the girl, including two counts of raping a child under 13 years of age between December 2018 and March 2020.

Zegstroo, of Overdale Gardens, Eastfield, was also found guilty of sexually assaulting the victim between the same dates, three counts of causes or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between October 2019 and March 2020, and two counts of taking indecent images of the girl.

Zegstroo had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The case, which had been due to begin on April 15, was delayed by claims of ill-health by Zegstroo, who was on taken out of court in an ambulance after complaining of chest pains.

The mother of the victim said that the delays had been upsetting, particularly as she was not able to get her child proper psychological support until the trial’s end, in case more evidence was required.

“I’m just relieved it’s over,” she said, “My child suffered so much”.

She said that a lawyer had said that the images in Zegstroo’s possession were some of the worst they had seen.

She thanked North Yorkshire Police, describing their work on the case as “amazing”.

Zegstroo has previously worked as a mascot for Party Time, a bouncy castle and party hire company.

Sentencing has been adjourned pending a psychological evaluation.