A 21-year-old man has walked free from the High Court in Glasgow despite admitting to having sex with a 12-year-old child.
Daniel Cieslak was only weeks away from his 20th birthday when he met the schoolgirl who was with teenage friends in a taxi queue after a heavy drinking session in Edinburgh City Centre.
The group of six agreed to back to a flat in Gorgie were Cieslank romped with the youngest of the girls under the impression that she was 16.
Prosecutors accepted his story that he believed the girl was 16 after being backed by two other witnesses and police officers who had spoke to the girl at early hours of the morning but never became suspicious of her young age.
The student apparently asked the girls age out of curiosity and never doubted for a minute that she was of legal age and when told by police she was only 12 he burst into tears.
Reported by STV News, Judge Lady Scott said justice is best served" by taking the "wholly exceptional decision" to give Cieslak an absolute discharge as according to her the 12-year-old was also an "active participant" in sexual activity and there was no suggestion of "predatory conduct" or grooming.
The judge concluded: "I am satisfied you have been subject to considerable pressure and distress from the burden of this prosecution.
"I do not consider there is any need - or public interest - in punishment.
"To do so would, in my view, be disproportionate given the nature of the criminal culpability here."
The statuary rape only came to light weeks later when the girl confessed to her older sister that she worried she might be pregnant and became stressed by the possibility.
Her sister took her to her GP who convinced her to go to the police.
Cieslak will not be put on the sex offenders list and was hugged by several weeping family members who had joined him in court.
He maintained throughout the whole case that he believed the girl was 16 and the fact it was backed up witnesses, including police investigating a separate incident, meant he was give an absolute discharge on "exceptional circumstances"