Six schoolgirls who were allegedly abused in a systematic way by a gang of at least five men who are many years their senior, have finally come forward and spoken out about their ordeal.
The alleged victims were all aged between 13 and 16, and the accused men, including 20-year-old Ahmed Hassan-Sule have been found guilty of various sexual abuse charges, including sex with a minor.
Nevertheless, addressing the abused girls in court, defense attorney Michael Magarian claimed they only came forward because, “it’s better to be a victim than a slag (slut). Once you are a victim who has been groomed you no longer have to take any responsibility for anything that you did.”
On top of that interesting statement, Magarian added that the schoolgirls may well have been “brainwashed by social workers.”
Despite those statements, Jon Brown from the RSPCC, a children’s charity in Britain, told reporters about the victims.
“They show a total lack of understanding of how children are groomed. Any suggestion that they may be to blame for the horrendous things that happened are totally wrong.”
At the same time, Jim Leivers, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Children, Education and Families, added that his views.
“This case embodies all of the lessons learned from Operation Bullfinch and is a very different case as a result. The social workers and police officers have worked in close co-operation on a day to day basis devoting a large amount of time to building high levels of trust between themselves and the victims over a long period. These victims have shown real bravery. They have been rewarded for that bravery with the verdicts that have been returned – as have the professionals who have put huge amounts of time and effort in to working towards this outcome.”
To echo those comments, Senior investigating officer, Det. Insp. Steve Raffield, from Banbury police, also spoke about how the accused men used the girl’s naivety to take advantage of them sexually.
“These offenders abused the trust of the vulnerable young victims for the purpose of their own sexual gratification. The girls were subject to horrific sexual offences including, in some cases, rape at the hands of these defendants. These horrific crimes will have a lasting impact upon the victims’ lives.”
While the men were found guilty on various charges, sentencing will only take place in late April.