A MAN has appeared in court charged with 21 child sex offences as part of the investigation into historic abuse in Rotherham.
Tony Chapman (41), of Lindley Street, Eastwoood, is charged with sexually abusing three girls, one aged 16 and two under the age of 16, between 1998 and 2015 as part of the National Crime Agency's Operation Stovewood.
Chapman faces seven charges of rape, 12 charges of indecent assault, one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of affray.
Chapman appeared at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) and pleaded not guilty to all the charges
He has been released on bail and is due to stand trial at the same court on March 5, 2018.
Chapman's trial is due to last ten days.
Operation Stovewood was set up in the wake of the Jay Report – published in 2014 – which said up to 1,400 children in Rotherham, mostly white girls, had been subject to exploitation and abuse mainly by men of Pakistani heritage.
The NCA is investigating non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in Rotherham between 1997-2013 and although some of the charges relating to Chapman are outside of this time frame, the NCA said he had still been included in the prosecution.
To date, a total of 24 men have been arrested and seven individuals have been charged with 42 offences.
The NCA said it was engaging with and supporting more than 200 victims and survivors as the investigation continued to grow.