A 16-year-old girl is alleged to have been prostituted by six men in the first case of its kind in Sussex.
Details of the Brighton teenager’s abuse have been released as police reveal more than 100 young people could be at risk of sexual exploitation.
The six men have been charged with conspiracy to arrange the prostitution of a child.
Christopher Kayla-Joseph, 26, of Elphick Road, Newhaven, Mohammed Kamali, 45, of Harper Road, Newhaven, Khosrow Sobhanieh, 55, of North Lane, Guestling, near Hastings, Stephen Daramola, 47, of Park Lane, Eastbourne, Khalid Del-Rosario, 44, of Upperton Road, Eastbourne and Guiseppe Carella, 18, of Brighton Road, Newhaven, are due to appear on bail at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on June 5.
Kayla-Joseph is also charged with two offences of supplying cocaine – one together with Carella and the other with Kamali, Daramola, and Del-Rosario.
Carella is also charged with rape, Sobhanieh is charged with two counts of rape and Daramola is charged with sexual assault.
The charges follow a 12-month police investigation after the girl was allegedly abused in May last year.
Sussex Police today reveal details of the case as they launch Operation Kite to help the public detect signs of child sexual abuse.
Officers fear 100 young people in Sussex are at risk of systematic sexual exploitation, based on data from police records of missing and found children and information from other agencies.
Police guidelines state young people, mainly teenage girls, may receive gifts, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and affection for engaging in sexual activity with individuals and groups – so friends and family should be aware of changes in behaviour.
Olivia Pinkney, temporary Chief Constable, said: “There is no current evidence that this pernicious activity, which corrupts the lives of vulnerable young people, is frequent in Sussex, but we believe there needs to be an extra focus on the issue to encourage reporting so that a fuller picture can be established and children better protected.
“We are already working with partners in local authorities and partners in other statutory and voluntary agencies, to develop a fuller picture of the way in which sexual exploitation can happen.
“And all police officers and staff, especially all those engaged on operations and intelligence, as well as our call handlers, are being specially briefed on the warning signs.”
Sussex Police urge anyone who can help to call 101 quoting Operation Kite.