Man who raped 12-year-old girl walks free from court with no punishment as he 'genuinely believed she was 16'
Judge Lady Scott told Glasgow High Court there were no public interest for punishment
A man who raped a 12-year-old girl has walked free from court with no punishment.
Daniel Cieslak (21) of Leith in Edinburgh, was granted an absolute discharge by a judge in the High Court in Glasgow.
The court heard the student had sex with the girl in July 2015 after meeting her at a taxi rank in Edinburgh city centre, Scottish regional news service STV News reports.
Cieslak admitted he had sex with the girl but denied it was rape. He said he genuinely believed she was 16 and reportedly burst into tears when police revealed her true age.
Judge Lady Scott said she had decided “justice is best served” by taking the “wholly exceptional decision” to give Cieslak an absolute discharge.
She said the purpose of the law was to “protect young girls” but that there were “exceptional circumstances” and no public interest in a punishment in this case.
There was no suggestion of grooming and the 12-year-old girl was sexually active, the judge told the court.
Cieslak will not be put on the sex offenders list.
The court heard the girl was in a taxi queue with her friend when they started to talk to Cieslak and his friend. They all got in a taxi together and went to a flat in Gorgie, where they had sex, the court heard.
Days later, the girl told her sister she was worried she could be pregnant. Her GP encouraged her to go to the police and and the girl’s sister reported the incident.