Page last updated at 19:17 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 20:17 UK

Police in child sex ring inquiry

Model poses as schoolgirl internet user
One victim said she was introduced to a man on the internet

A major police inquiry is under way after a BBC investigation revealed a paedophile ring thought to be targeting schoolgirls in West Yorkshire.

One former victim said up to 50 girls, some as young as seven, were taken in vans to houses where they were forced to have sex, often with several men.

Seventeen suspected paedophiles are understood to be under investigation.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed that a 37-year-old man had been arrested and bailed in connection with the claims.

The force said in a statement: "West Yorkshire Police take all forms of child abuse seriously and we are committed to investigating and disrupting any such abuse.

"Where there is evidence of grooming our focus would be on both helping the child as a victim and prosecuting the offender."

He said he would be waiting for me and he'd kill me - he threatened all my family
Schoolgirl victim

One girl, who was 12 when her ordeal began, told BBC Look North she was introduced by a school friend to a man on the internet.

She told BBC Look North that for the next three years he and 27 other men forced her to have sex almost every day.

"I went in this bedroom and had to have sex with him and then with other men, about six of them," she said.

"If we were going to do anything before we went to the house, a camera would be set up in the back of the van.

"He would pick us up and one would be in the back with a few other men while the others were at the house waiting."

'Slash' threat

Most of the girls are believed to be pupils at two schools in West Yorkshire and most, said the victim, now self-harm as a result of their ordeal.

She said she and her family were threatened with violence if she revealed what was going on.

"He said he would be waiting for me and he'd kill me. He threatened all my family and he knows where I live.

"He threatened to kill my Dad, he threatened to kill my Mum. He said he would kill her slow, slash her with a knife.

"He said to me 'I will always be watching you. No matter what, remember I will always be watching you'."

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A Look North investigation has revealed the extent of a paedophile ring operating in Yorkshire




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