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29 March 2015, 11:20
Three men and three boys have appeared in court charged with being involved in alleged child sexual exploitation in Crawley.
Sussex police say they are investigating whether two teenage girls were raped by a gang in the town. Magistrates released all six defendants on bail.
Guilliam Augustin, 18, a student, of Sunningdale Court, Brighton Road, Crawley; Andrew Rose , 19, a cleaner, of Sorrel Close, Crawley; Louis Volfrin, 25, a cleaner, of Eddington Hill, Crawley; and three boys, two aged 16 and one aged 17, also all from Crawley. appeared in custody at Brighton Magistrates Court on Saturday 28 March.
Augustin was charged with sexual activity with a child; Rose was charged with rape and with engaging in sexual activity with a child: Volfrin was charged with rape: one of the 16-year old boys was charged with one rape, with causing actual bodily harm, with affray, with supplying cannabis, and with sexual assault; the other 16-year old was charged with rape; the 17-year old was with two rapes, engaging in sexual activity with a child, and with sexual assault
The case was committed to Lewes Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on Monday 20 April.
On Thursday Crawley detectives executed search warrants at several addresses, and the arrests were made during the same day. The operation was supported by officers and staff from other areas in Sussex.
The six were charged on Friday evening (27 March), on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service.
A Sussex police spokesman said; "These charges follow an investigation into allegations received for the first time last month that between October 2013 and February 2014, two local girls, then aged between 13 and 15, were victims of sexual offences at two addresses in Crawley.
"The investigation is still at an early stage and we are working closely with partner agencies to ensure that the girls' welfare is a priority."