Saturday, 18 March 2017

Man who admitted raping 12-year-old girl escapes jail

Pic shows Daniel Cieslak (right, suit) at the High Court Glasgow. The 21 year old pled guilty to raping a 12 year in Edinburgh. Sentence deferred. See Glasgow Courts. Pic by Iain McLellan/Spindrift.

A man who admitted raping a 12-year-old girl has escaped jail after the judge said she ‘looks older than 16’.
Maggie Scott QC granted Daniel Cieslak an absolute discharge at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.
Cieslak, 21, was 19 years old when he met the victim and her friend – who were aged 12 and 13 – while waiting in a taxi queue in Edinburgh after a night out in 2015.

After meeting them there, he took them both back to a party with them thinking they were 16 and 17, a statement on the Judiciary of Scotland website said.
‘You understood from chatting in the taxi that the victim was 16 years old, and her friend was 17 years old,’ Lady Scott said.
‘Once at the flat, after some time, you paired off and you and the victim engaged in sexual intercourse. She left the next morning. She had no concerns and there was no suggestion of her being distressed.’

Although the judge said Cieslak was culpable under ‘strict liability’, because victims under 13 are deemed by law to be incapable of consenting to sex, she added that there were ‘a number of exceptional circumstances’ which applied.
She said: ‘The statutory offence for girls aged over 13 to 16 years provides for a defence based on reasonable grounds of belief by the accused that the victim was above the age of consent.’
The judge then said that, had the victim been ‘a few months older’, Cieslak would have had a clearer defence – and cited witnesses who said they all thought the girl was over 16.
She then announced her decision to hand Cieslak an absolute discharge, meaning he would not go to jail or have to sign the sex offenders register.

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