CAMPAIGNING MP Sarah Champion said the CSE verdicts were “a testament to the bravery of the victims who had the courage to report their abuse”.
The Rotherham MP, who forced a change in the law on child sex abuse, said: “For years, indeed decades, the victims and survivors kept coming forward to report the horrific crimes they endured, but they were not heard.
“Most people would have given up, but these women persevered, not wanting another child to suffer as they did.
“Child sexual abuse is a despicable crime. It destroys childhoods, family networks and the mental torture lives on into adulthood.
“I hope today’s verdict will be the first step for the survivors to rebuild their lives and become the empowered women they were destined to be.
“As a society we need to do more to prevent child sexual exploitation. It is happening in every town, village and city.
“It is not enough to only secure prosecutions because that means a child’s life has already been destroyed.
“We need to remember that for many victims and survivors, seeing their perpetrators face justice is still a goal yet to be realised, that must be addressed.
“In Rotherham, we must continue to be united in dealing with these horrendous crimes and be unwavering in rooting out child abuse and keeping our children safe.”
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey also welcomed the convictions, saying: “It has taken 18 months since Alexis Jay exposed the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, but some of the worst offenders have now been brought to justice.
“There is no doubt the police did not properly investigate allegations in the past and these were totally unacceptable failings, as I've said from the start. But through renewed investigations, more resources and thorough work South Yorkshire Police have secured major convictions today and I hope this case will be the first of many.
"There can be no hiding place for those who've committed these evil crimes - no matter how long ago.
"These convictions are a significant step forward in reassuring victims and in rebuilding public confidence that abusers will be brought to justice. I want to see more brought before the courts as quickly as possible."