Lancashire

Missing Charlene Downes case: Three held for sex offences

Charlene Downes Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Charlene Downes, 14, was last seen near to the North Pier in Blackpool in 2003

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of historical sex offences by police investigating the murder of a teenager who went missing 13 years ago.

Charlene Downes, 14, was last seen near to the North Pier in Blackpool in 2003. Her body has never been found.

A man, 34, was arrested on suspicion of rape and two men, aged 29 and 44, were held for aiding and abetting rape.

Officers have been looking at links between Charlene's case and the "wider issue of child sexual exploitation"

Police said there was no suggestion the arrests were directly connected to Charlene's disappearance.

The offences over which the three men were arrested were committed between 2009 and 2010 against a 23-year-old woman.

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