A victim of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal confronted the man she claims groomed her as a teen on the street and was shocked when police tackled and arrested her.
The woman is one of 1,400 children who were sexually exploited in South Yorkshire, England, during a 16-year period. The widespread abuse was reported after an investigation following the 2012 conviction of five men of Pakistani descent who sexually molested girls as young as 12.
The woman, who was not identified, saw the alleged attacker walking through the city center in Rotherham on Friday.
Witnesses said the woman jumped on the man who she alleges lured her into the child exploitation ring when she was 15, the Daily Mail reported.
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Police officers tackled the woman and arrested her. One witness says the officers acted like “insensitive thugs.”
“A police van came and six male officers piled out,” the unidentified witness said. “Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.”
Police said they were responding to complaints about a woman who was allegedly drinking and causing a disturbance.
“The woman was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offenses,” said a South Yorkshire police spokesman.
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Authorities realized after her arrest that the woman is an abuse victim they have been trying to speak with for weeks regarding the sex abuse scandal.
“Specialist officers from South Yorkshire Police had been making efforts to trace a 28-year-old woman who had made allegations to a partner agency,” said a South Yorkshire police spokesman. “The allegations related to child sexual exploitation. Efforts to trace the woman were unsuccessful.”
She was released on bail.
“The woman chose not to speak with the officers at this current time but plans are in place to find an appropriate way to work with the woman and offer her the support she needs to come forward,” the police spokesman said.
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Chrisfp, Daily Mail