"Bostan took advantage of a young girl at a time when she was vulnerable."
A British Asian man has received a jail sentence of 9 years for raping an underage girl twice. The judge gave the verdict at Sheffield Crown Court, on 9th February 2018.
Identified as 47-year-old Asghar Bostan, the judge found him guilty of two offences against the girl, taking place between 2000 and 2002.
He previously denied the charges in the week-long trial.
The court heard how the man, who worked as a taxi driver, raped his victim in a Rotherham house, where she had been supplied with alcohol and drugs. The property belonged to an older, unnamed woman who had befriended the girl.
Around the time of the crimes, the victim would regularly visit the location. Men would also go to the house, one of whom was Bostan, known to the girl as ‘Don’.
While the girl was much younger than these men, she was reportedly made to believe the incidents were ‘normal’.
In 2014, she reported the abuse to South Yorkshire Police. They referred her case to National Crime Agency’s (NCA) Operation Stovewood, an investigation into Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation and abuse between 1997 and 2003.
After an investigation into the case, the girl picked out Bostan during an identity procedure in 2016. She told the jury during the trial: “I just want justice for the years I have lost because of him.”
Crime Protection Service’s specialist prosecutor Kate Hurst told the court: “Bostan took advantage of a young girl at a time when she was vulnerable.
“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.”
The judge also imposed a restricting order in addition to the jail sentence. After the verdict, NCA’s Senior Investigating Officer Paul Williamson told reporters:
“Our investigations are complex and challenging, but I am sure today’s conviction will give other victims the confidence to know they will be listened to.”
“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.”
Bostan’s trail marks the second under Operation Stovewood. The first, taken place in November 2017, saw three men jailed for sexually abusing an underage girl between 1994 and 1995.
To date, the investigation has arrested 35 people, of which they have charged 18 and convicted 3. Officers have also identified over 100 suspects and are working with 260 victims to bring them justice.
While Bostan now serves his 9-year sentence, officers will continue their work in Operation Stovewood.