Charlene officers arrest six men over teen rape allegations

Charlene (highlighted) was last seen in Blackpool on November 3 2003
Charlene (highlighted) was last seen in Blackpool on November 3 2003

The team investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes have arrested six men on suspicion of historical rapes involving a teenage girl.

This morning officers arrested a 38-year-old man from HMP Preston in relation to historical child sex exploitation offences, which are not directly related to Charlene's disappearance.

Five others aged 33, 36, 37, 42 and 45 from Blackburn were arrested last week, also on suspicion of historical rapes.

The historical rapes are alleged to have taken place in 2003 and 2004 against a girl who was 15-years-old at the time.

The 37-year-old man was released without charge while the others have been released under investigation.

In a separate enquiry also relating to historical child abuse, Michael Allen McKenzie, 68, of Keswick Road, Blackpool, has been charged with the rape and two indecent assaults of a girl under 16.

These offences were allegedly committed in Blackpool in May 2003 and involved one female victim aged 14 at the time.

McKenzie has been bailed to appear before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on August 21.

The action has been brought by the team of detectives investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes in Blackpool in 2003 and her subsequent murder, although there is no suggestion that these cases are directly connected.

Charlene was just 14 years old when she was last seen in Blackpool on Saturday November 1, 2003. Despite a £100,000 reward on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or the recovery of her body, nobody has ever been brought to justice.

More information on Charlene and her disappearance can be found on our website at www.lancashire.police.uk/campaigns/charlene-downes