14 convicted in UK of sexually exploiting girls

AP News
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Posted: Nov 27, 2014 8:22 AM

LONDON (AP) — Fourteen men have been convicted in Britain of running a sex ring that involved the abuse, rape and prostitution of girls as young as 13.

The men, all from Somali backgrounds, were convicted in two trials that ended Wednesday. Reporting restrictions were lifted Thursday.

Prosecutors said the men, in their early 20s, groomed vulnerable girls in Bristol, southwestern England, and persuaded them to have sex in return for money, drugs or alcohol.

The case is the latest in a series of trials that have exposed sexual exploitation of children in cities across Britain.

The cases have sparked criticism of local authorities for failing to protect the victims. They have also stoked racial tensions, as the perpetrators in several cases were from Pakistani backgrounds and many of the victims were white.