Six men are arrested over historical child sex exploitation offences by police investigating murder of missing 14-year-old girl
- Man, 38, arrested on suspicion of rapes between 2003 and 2004 on girl, 15
- Five other men, aged 33, 36, 37, 42 and 45, also arrested on suspicion of rapes
- Action brought by team probing disappearance and murder of Charlene Downes
Six men have been arrested in relation to historical child sex exploitation offences by detectives investigating the murder of a missing teenager Charlene Downes
Six men have been arrested in relation to historical child sex exploitation offences by detectives investigating the murder of missing teenager Charlene Downes.
A 38-year-old, of no fixed address, is the sixth suspect arrested on suspicion of historical rapes between 2003 and 2004 against a 15-year-old girl in Blackpool, Lancashire.
Five others, aged 33, 36, 37, 42 and 45, all from Blackburn, were arrested last week, also on suspicion of historical rapes.
The 37-year-old man was released without charge while the others have been released on bail pending further investigations.
The action was brought by the team of detectives investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes in the popular seaside resort and her subsequent murder.
However, there is no suggestion that the case is directly connected.
Charlene was just 14-years-old when she was last seen in Blackpool on Saturday, November 1, 2003.
Prosecutors alleged that fast food shop owner Iyad Albattikh had murdered the teenager after he jokingly told police he had chopped her up and put her in kebabs.
The charges against Albattikh were later dropped after a jury couldn’t reach a verdict.
Charlene Downes disappeared in Blackpool in 2003 but no one has ever been brought to justice for her murder
Despite a £100,000 reward on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or the recovery of her body, nobody has ever been brought to justice.
Commenting on the arrests, a Lancashire Police spokesperson said: ‘The inquiry team set up in 2003 following the disappearance of Charlene Downes was tasked with finding out information and finding those responsible.
‘They were effectively tasked with looking at other jobs of that type, and that includes Child Sex Exploitation, and arrests have come about from the same team looking into the disappearance of Charlene Downes.
‘However, the arrests are not directly linked to Charlene’s disappearance.’