A taxi driver was jailed for nine years last month after being found guilty of raping a teenage girl in Rotherham.
The Star reports that Asghar Bostan, 47, raped his victim twice between 2000 and 2002 after giving her drugs and alcohol, and coercing her into staying at a flat in the town. His victim, who was under 16 at the time, reported him to South Yorkshire Police in 2014 and the case was referred to the National Crime Agency’s ‘Operation Stovewood’ team, which is investigating child sexual exploitation and ab-use in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. To date, 35 individuals have been arrested, 18 have been charged and three have been convicted as part of Stovewood.
Officers are working with over 260 victims and over 100 suspects have been identified. Senior investigating officer, Paul Williamson, said: “This is the second trial under Operation Stovewood and the commitment of officers in building trust and relationships with victims should not be underestimated. Our investigations are complex and challenging, but I am sure this conviction will give other victims the confidence to know they will be listened to, and the individuals who exploited them in the worst imaginable way will be brought to justice.
“Working with South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the many other partners we are engaged with, we will not stop in our endeavours to get justice for the victims and survivors who have shown great courage and dignity in coming forward.”
Kate Hurst, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Bostan took advantage of a young girl at a time when she was vulnerable. On two separate occasions, drink and possibly drugs were used before he took her into the bedroom and raped her. Bostan was much older than the victim who was still a child and barely knew him. Bostan denied that he was the male she recognised as ‘Don’ but evidence put forward by the CPS, including the victim’s accounts of the incidents, saw the jury find him guilty.
“I would like to pay tribute to the victim who came forward and bravely supported this prosecution.”
In statement read to the court on behalf of the victim she said her childhood and teenage years had been “destroyed” by Bostan. She said: “I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had finished my education, gone on to college and become the teacher I had always dreamed of being. I might have had a loving family, husband and children and not have to stay awake every night unable to sleep because of the damage done to me.”