32 Men Accused of Over 200 ‘Non-Recent’ Sex Offences Against 8 Girls

32 Men Accused of Over 200 ‘Non-Recent’ Sex Offences Against 8 Girls
A teenage girl, who claims to be a victim of sexual abuse and alleged grooming, poses in Rotherham, United Kingdom, on Sept. 3, 2014. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Mary Clark

Thirty-two men have been charged with sexually exploiting eight girls in West Yorkshire. The victims were allegedly abused over a 13-year period between 1999 and 2012.

All the alleged offences took place in the Kirklees, Bradford, and Wakefield areas of West Yorkshire and were committed against girls between the ages of 13 and 16, West Yorkshire Police said in a statement on Thursday.

Some of the children went on to also be abused as young adults, police said.

The offences were allegedly committed by men between the ages of 31 and 50 and include 141 allegations of rape.

The charges were brought as part of Operation Tourway, the police said, an investigation into non-recent child sexual exploitation in parts of West Yorkshire.

It follows the discovery in 2018 that an estimated 1,500 children, most of them white girls, were sexually abused in Rotherham, South Yorkshire between 1997 and 2013, despite police and local lawmakers being made aware of the abuse.

In 2015, the National Crime Agency (NCA) set up the largest operation of its kind to investigate 16 years of abuses in Rotherham but did not secure its first convictions until 2017.

Children were groomed, trafficked, and raped across the UK, but offenders were not prosecuted reportedly owing to fears around race.

In Halifax, West Yorkshire, it was estimated that as many as 100 men of British-Pakistani origin could have been involved in child abuse between 2006 and 2011.

In 2016, 18 men were convicted for rape, trafficking, and sexual activity with children, and in January 2018 a further 20 men were arrested for their involvement in the Halifax gang.

The National Crime Agency told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that they were not involved in the most recent case.

West Yorkshire Police did not responded to a request for comment on potential similarities to earlier cases.

In addition to rape, other crimes committed in the current alleged offences include aiding and abetting rape, conspiracy to rape, threats to kill, harassment, false imprisonment, trafficking, making an indecent image of a child, possession of extreme pornographic images, gross indecency, and the supply of illegal drugs.

All the alleged offenders have either been served with a postal summons for the charges against them or have been released on bail.

They are all due to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court, West Yorkshire, on Dec. 11 and Dec. 14.

Simon Veazey contributed to this report.