A South Yorkshire teenager, who admitted raping a 12-year-old girl, has walked free from court.
Judge Sarah Wright sentenced Charlie Flinders to two years in prison, suspended for two years, during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court today.
Flinders, of South Street, Rotherham pleaded guilty to one count of rape at an earlier hearing.
The court was told how Flinder raped his victim, a 12-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons, when he was 16-years-old.
Evidence of Flinders’ sexual contact with his victim via text messages were revealed during the police investigation.
Passing sentence, Judge Wright told Flinders: "You pleaded guilty on the basis this was a single incident and was consensual - but the complainant was only 12-years-old at the time.
"An examination of her phone revealed there had been sexual contact."
"Having read the pre-sentence report, you were clearly very immature at the time," said Judge Wright adding: "I can take an exceptional course in your case and suspend the prison sentence."
Flinders was also ordered to complete a sex offenders' treatment programme.
Speaking after the case, Detective Sergeant Gareth Gent said: “Flinders sent sexually inappropriate messages to a child, knowing she was underage and that his actions were against the law.
“Our enquiries uncovered evidence of Flinders being in sexual communication with his victim around the time of the crime.
“This culminated in the rape of a child and this sentencing means he will now receive the appropriate monitoring and rehabilitation. Should he re-offend, he faces going to prison.
“His criminal behaviour has undoubtedly contributed to the impact on his victim’s life.
“Child sexual abuse can have a devastating effect on its victims and I hope that this young girl is now able to move forwards in her recovery with the knowledge that her abuser has been brought to justice.
“If anyone out there is suffering sexual abuse or exploitation, or if you have concerns for a child, please contact police. We have dedicated officers and agencies who are here to listen, support victims and their families, and prosecute offenders of this awful crime.”
You can report concerns for a child by calling police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also call or text the national child sexual exploitation helpline Say Something on 116 000.