LONDON - Seven men were convicted in London on Tuesday of sexually abusing underage girls, including one who was just 11, by plying them with alcohol and drugs before forcing them to commit sex acts.
The guilty verdict followed five months of testimony indicating the pedophile sex ring exploited girls between 2004 and 2012 in the Oxford area, about 60 miles northwest of London. Charges include rape, trafficking, and child prostitution.
The case follows several other high-profile ones of sex rings that took advantage of underage girls.
Chief prosecutor Baljit Ubhey said the girls were subjected to "truly appalling" abuse by a network of perpetrators.
"No one, let alone a child, should ever be exploited as these young victims were," she said. "The men who have been convicted have still failed to accept any responsibility for their crimes. They are nothing less than vicious sexual predators."
Prosecutors said seven of the men on trial were of Pakistani descent and two had family roots in North Africa. Other recent high profile cases, including one in Rochdale that involved a similar sex ring, have also involved Pakistani men convicted of abusing young white girls, in some cases sparking ethnic tensions and protests.
This case was slightly different in that it involved many instances of child prostitution. The girls were taken to various parts of Britain and forced to have sex with men who paid the convicted men for access to the girls.
Most of the victims testified from behind a curtain, describing forced encounters and intimidation.