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Ten men jailed for grooming 13-year-old girl
TEN men have been jailed for a total of more than 34 years for the abuse of a 13-year-old girl.
The men - none of whom knew each other - groomed the girl over the internet before meeting her for sex or encouraging her to pose for indecent photographs and videos.
The majority of the defendants lived in the York and North Yorkshire area, and were aged between 20 and 45.
A 14-year-old boy was also spoken to by officers.
The men were sentenced, following court cases which took place over the last year, for between six years and 15 months. One man received a community sentence and one is awaiting sentence.
The case now be reported after legal restrictions were lifted.
The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said the victim was now emotionally and mentally scarred and it may be many years before the full impact of their crimes on her is known. She is receiving intensive specialist help.
North Yorkshire Police launched a major investigation after being approached by the girl’s mother who was worried about her relationship with numerous adult men.
The mother handed over the teenager’s phone which allowed detectives to identify 30 suspects.
Most of the men got to know her after she put a profile on a dating website claiming to be 18.
When they contacted her she revealed her true age.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, head of crime at North Yorkshire Police, said: “This investigation uncovered large-scale exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of several men, some of whom were married and had successful careers.”
Det Ch Supt Mason said some suspects stopped contact when they discovered the girl’s real age, however many did not.
He added: “The scale of the data analysed to reach such a conclusion is matched only by the determination and dedication of the investigation team and our safeguarding partners all of whom acted in close partnership I am very proud of their efforts in what was a difficult investigation”
“We all have a responsibility to ensure our children are safe and to that end North Yorkshire Police works with numerous agencies to educate professionals, parents and children to safeguard children from harm.”
All 12 men have been put on the sex offenders’ register for between five years and life, banned from working with children for life, and made subject to sexual offences prevention orders.