Child sex convictions spark debate about race and abuse
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.”