LONDON - Nine men were released on bail after they were questioned by detectives investigating a suspected case of child sex abuse in northwest England, British police said Saturday.
It is not yet clear if the arrests were related to the sentencing this week of nine other men convicted of luring girls as young as 13 years old into sex using alcohol and drugs. Both of the latest arrests and the child sex ring case took place in Rochdale, near Manchester.
In the latest series of arrests, the men, aged 24 to 38, are suspected of sexual activity with a child, Manchester police said. The men are not thought to know each other, and have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Police did not give details about when the suspects were arrested and under what circumstances, only saying that the most recent one took place May 4.
A teenage girl who was traced as a result of the separate sex ring case gave evidence that led to the latest arrests, police added.
On Wednesday, a group of nine was sentenced to up to 19 years in jail for charges including rape, assault, sex trafficking and conspiracy.
The case has stirred racial tensions because all the men were of Pakistani or Afghan origin, and their victims were white. In sentencing the men, judge Gerald Clifton said that one of the reasons why they treated the girls with so little respect was because they were not from the same community or religion.