FIVE Leamington men are to stand trial over allegations of sexual offences, including the multiple alleged rapes by one of them of a 15 year-old girl.
That girl was also said to have been subjected to trafficking for sexual offences and to have been raped by two more of the defendants.
Appearing in the dock at Warwick Crown Court with the other four defendants, Januario da Costa Gusmao pleaded not guilty to raping the 15 year-old girl between June 3 and June 5 this year.
Gusmao, 30, of Shrubland Street, also denied raping the same girl on seven further occasions between then and the beginning of July and sexually assaulting her.
In addition, he pleaded not guilty to intimidating the girl, knowing she was assisting a police investigation, by threatening her, intending to obstruct the investigation.
Gusmao and Tobias Belo, 31, of the same address in Shrubland Street, pleaded not guilty to arranging or facilitating the travel of the 15-year-old in June with a view to her being exploited.
And Belo denied a further charge of supplying alcohol between June 2 and June 4 intending, by doing so, to encourage or assist the commission of a sexual offence.
Aluiziu dos Santos, 28, of Brunswick Street, pleaded not guilty to an identical offence alleged to have taken place on June 4.
A third man from the address in Shrubland Street, Leoneto Freitas, 23, pleaded not guilty to raping the teenager and also denied an offence of common assault on her.
The fifth man in the dock, Blacius Ola, 24, of Grove Place, pleaded not guilty to raping the girl in June and to arranging or facilitating her travel for exploitation a few days later.
In addition to the charges relating that girl, Gusmao faced a further charge of engaging in sexual communication with a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, which he also denied.
It is alleged that between the beginning of June and early July he exchanged text messages of a sexual nature with a 14 year-old girl.
Prosecutor Nicola Moore pointed out that in relation to Gusmao, Belo and Freitas, custody time limits, the period during which a defendant can be held in custody before standing trial runs out on January 4, unless a judge agrees to extend it.
And she observed: “There is no opportunity at this court centre for a two-week trial before then, so enquiries need to be made elsewhere.”
And Judge Stephen Eyre QC said attempts should be made to find a court elsewhere in the midlands that could start the trial before January 4.
Miss Moore added further evidence needed to be served by the prosecution, including an analysis of phone traffic, which is under way but not completed, and the DNA examination of swabs taken from the 15-year old girl and her clothing
Adjourning the case for that to be done and a trial venue and date to be fixed, Judge Eyre granted dos Santos bail, but remanded the other four men in custody.