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Police arrest 40 in Rotherham child sex abuse investigation

Eight men will stand trial next year charged with raping and trafficking the same 15-year-old girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

ALMOST 40 people have been arrested over child sex abuse dating back 20 years in Rotherham.

The National Crime Agency said the people arrested — 38 men and two women — are aged between 29 and 53 and are from Sheffield, Rotherham, Leeds, Dewsbury, and Maidstone in Kent.

All have been bailed or released under investigation pending further inquiries.

These arrests are part of the ongoing Operation Stonewood investigation.

“Arresting such a large number of individuals, as part of one Stovewood sub-operation, shows our desire to listen to victims and bring offenders to justice is not wavering,” Carl Vessey-Baitson, from the NCA, was quoted as saying.

“Stovewood is a challenging and complex investigation, with victims and survivors reliving abuse that took place many years ago.

“To date we have engaged with over 410 victims and survivors and have arrested or interviewed by appointment 94 suspects, meaning this is the largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial CSAE (child sexual abuse and exploitation) ever undertaken in the UK.”