The NSPCC have reacted to the conviction of child sex offenders Osmon Koroma and Max N’Gasa this week.
Following a six week trial at Lewes Crown Court, Koroma, 31, and N’Gasa, 25, were convicted of 18 sexual exploitation offences against 12 teenage girls at locations in Littlehampton.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “A dozen vulnerable young girls believed they were in a loving and committed relationship, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“This shocking case was made worse by the men’s ‘not guilty’ pleas which forced their victims to relive the harrowing experience by giving evidence in court.
“Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime, but its impact can be long-lasting and devastating. We must be alert to the signs, which sometimes can be mistaken for ‘normal’ teenage behaviour.
“We all have a role to play in spotting the signs.
“If you spot anything of concern you can call the NSPCC helpline free and in confidence on 0808 800 5000 or visit www.nspcc.org.uk. Children can call ChildLine for free, 24 hours-a-day on 0800 1111.”
According to the NSPCC, young people who are being sexually exploited may be involved in abusive relationships, intimidated and fearful of certain people or situations; hang out with groups of older people, or antisocial groups, or with other vulnerable peers or associate with other young people involved in sexual exploitation.
Some may get involved in gangs, gang fights or gang membership, have older boyfriends or girlfriends, spend time at places of concern, such as hotels or known brothels, not know where they are, because they have been moved around the country or go missing from home, care or education.
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