A Hucknall man who admitted raping a 12-year-old girl from Ilkeston in October last year has been spared jail and hit with a three-year community order.
During the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, it was revealed that the girl had been infatuated with 20-year-old Ryan Cooper, of Watnall Road, who believed she was 16-years-old.
When she became distressed during the incident in Maws Lane, Kimberley, on October 26, Cooper immediately left the girl and began walking home, the court was told.
He was arrested shortly afterwards and a psychiatric report revealed there was sufficient concern for his mental health at the police station.
His solicitor Michael Evans said: “He repeatedly informed me that he thought the girl was 16 and he did not try to force himself on her.
“The act does not appear to be predatory, more a sign of his sexual immaturity. He is a young man with social and emotional difficulties.”
Mr Evans said that Cooper had low self-esteem, had suffered from the break-up of his parents’ marriage and had experienced levels of intimidation in his community following his initial court appearance.
“He was 19 (at the time) but emotionally he was a lot younger,” added Mr Evans.
“The truth is that the moment he thought something was odd he stopped – he was not rude, he just said he was going home.
“Underneath this he is a genuinely nice young man, but he is completely broken and would never intentionally do something like this.”
Judge Tony Mitchell said that he did not think a custodial sentence would be appropriate as it would not help him or his victim who had both been seriously affected by the incident.
Cooper was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for the next five years.