Child sex con­vic­tions spark de­bate about race and abuse

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

LON­DON | Bri­tain is wrestling with a volatile nexus of crime, race and re­li­gion, af­ter 18 peo­ple were con­victed of sex­u­ally abus­ing women and girls as young as 15 in a series of tri­als that ended this week in north­east Eng­land.

The crimes fol­low a pattern that has be­come grimly fa­mil­iar in the U.K. The con­victed are mostly men with South Asian Mus­lim back­grounds. Vic­tims — plied with drugs and al­co­hol be­fore be­ing abused — are mostly white.

The pros­e­cu­tions have raised un­com­fort­able ques­tions, with some al­leg­ing the crimes were ig­nored by au­thor­i­ties afraid they would be branded racist.

Sarah Cham­pion, a Bri­tish law­maker, said Thurs­day, “peo­ple are more afraid to be called a racist than they are afraid to be wrong about call­ing out child abuse.”

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