Four Muslim men who sexually exploited young girls in the United Kingdom have been sent to a young offenders’ institute to serve sentences totaling 17 years.

During a court hearing in February, the four men pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offenses involving their abuse of five girls who were ages 13 and 14 at the time, the Burton Mail reported.

On two occassions, Taiyab Hussain, 19, and Mohammed Hizar Rizwan, 18, picked the girls up by car prior to coercing them to perform sex acts. The next day, the men “swapped” victims.

One of the victims was later abused by Shaheem Ratyal, 19, and Sohail Raja Ali, 19, abused a fourth victim, who was 13 at the time.

Police reported that a fifth girl was involved, but she did not provide evidence to support the prosecution in court.

The criminal activities of the men were discovered when one of the young victims was encouraged by her father to view a video warning about the dangers of grooming. After watching the video, the girl revealed the crimes that had been perpetrated against her.

When sentencing the men, Judge Jonathan Gosling, said, “It is clear the girls meant nothing to them whatsoever. They were simply an agency to satisfy their adolescent lust of these men. One girl had only just passed her 13th birthday.”

Gosling addressed the ages of the defendants, saying, “They are not predatory paedophiles; they were schoolboys.”

Although a charge against the men of collective conspiracy to abuse was dropped, Gosling said, “There was a joint interest in meeting and sexually abusing these young girls.”

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