Seven men have been found guilty of sexually exploiting vulnerable teenage girls in Rotherham, in the biggest prosecution of child sexual exploitation in the town.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the men targeted and groomed the teenagers before subjecting them to acts of a “degrading and violent nature”.
The case is the first major prosecution arising out of Operation Stovewood – the National Crime Agency (NCA)’s massive inquiry into historical child sexual exploitation in the South Yorkshire town, which has identified more than 1,500 victims.
This investigation was set up following the 2014 Jay Report which revealed the shocking scale of sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 – and the failure of police and social services to intervene at the time.
It has been described it as the “biggest child protection scandal in UK history”.
The jury in the trial which finished on Monday were told how girls, who are now women in their 30s, were “lured by the excitement of friendship with older Asian youths” but then sexually assaulted and passed between men.
One of the complainants told a trial at Sheffield Crown Court how she had sex with “at least 100 Asian men” by the time she was 16 and another described how she was gang-raped in a forest and then threatened with being abandoned there.
One of the eight defendants was acquitted of all charges by the jury, which deliberated for just over six hours.
The seven men who were found guilty will be sentenced in November and were remanded in custody.