SIX men have gone on trial accused of 27 child sexual exploitation offences against seven Rotherham schoolgirls.
The men are charged with offences including rape, indecent assault and child abduction between 1998 and 2002, all alleged to have taken place in Clifton Park, Rotherham bus and railway stations, the indoor market and an alleyway next to Boots.
Prosecutor Ms Ann Cotcher QC said the defendants had befriended the vulnerable girls in order to “sexualise them” and they had been subjected to acts “of a violent and degrading nature”.
The girls, who were aged 13, 14 and 15, believed that “sex was the price to pay” for friendships with older Asian youths, she said, adding: “Those that did speak to people in authority at the time found that no action was taken at all, nothing was done.”
Ms Cotcher said the abuse was “a daily occurrence”, adding: “Although people in authority were aware, to put it mildly, nothing was done to stop it.”
Abid Saddiq (38), of Walter Street, Masbrough, is accused of ten offences — two counts of rape, five counts of indecent assault, one count of aiding and abetting another defendant to indecently assault and two counts of child abduction.
Sharaz Hussain (34), of Fitzwilliam Road, Eastwood, Masaued Malik (34) and Aftab Hussain (40), of York Road, Rotherham, face four, three and two indecent assault charges respectively.
Two of the six men cannot be named for legal reasons.
One, to be referred to as Defendant 5 is accused of rape and three counts of indecent assault while another (Defendant 6) faces two counts of child abduction, one of indecent assault and one of aiding and abetting rape.
The charges have all been brought as part of the National Crime Agency’s Operation Stovewood investigation.
The men deny all the offences and the trial, which is expected to last eight weeks, continues.
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