9 Men Sentenced for 631 Rapes of Teenage Girls Over 5 Years
Eight of the nine men sentenced in a child sexual exploitation ring. (USA Today)
Nine men of Pakistani and Afghan descent were convicted Tuesday of luring girls as young as 13 into sexual encounters using alcohol and drugs, in a case that has heightened racial tensions in Britain and stirred protests among the far right.
The five victims who shared their stories with jurors during the trial were all white. They spoke of being raped, assaulted and traded for sex, sometimes being passed from man to man, and sometimes being too drunk to stop the abuse. One said that by the end of the ordeal, she “had no emotion.”
The trial has been controversial in more than one respect. One of the victims first spoke to police in August 2008, supplying underwear with DNA evidence implicating one of the suspects, but a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer failed to press charges after concerns that the jury might have questioned the girl’s credibility.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating why that decision was made. And police have interviewed more than 40 girls as part of their investigation, raising the possibility that there are other victims who did not come forward to testify.
“We’d get free alcohol, cigarettes, food and free taxis and things,” said the girl who went to the police in 2008. “At first I thought it (was) great because nothing had happened, like nothing sexual. Towards the end it was like, it could be up to five different men in a day, sometimes every day, at least four or five times a week.”
The girl, who was lured in to the sex ring at age 15 and is now 20, escaped the gang after she became pregnant. The ring was based in the town of Rochdale, about 170 miles from London and abused the girls in taxis, kebab shops and apartments.
The men, who were convicted Tuesday of charges including rape, assault, sex trafficking and conspiracy, range in age from 22 to 59. One worked as a religious studies teacher at a mosque but it is not known if the others were religious…
…The sex ring used another girl, dubbed the “honeymonster,” to lure other girls into the ring.