A man who raped a boy when he was a teenager has walked free from court due to "exceptional circumstances".
Alistair Frederick, from Weston Grove, Halewood, admitted sexually touching, raping and showing pornography to the young victim, when he himself was a child too.
The now 31-year-old claimed the abuse was consensual and part of "sexual experimentation", despite the victim being too young to consent to any kind of sexual behaviour.
Following a trial, Frederick appeared at Liverpool Crown Court where he was handed a 20-month suspended jail sentence.
His sentence will be suspended for 12 months and he must sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Sentencing today, Judge Stuart Driver said: "The fact that this offence was committed when the defendant was a child makes an enormous difference."
Gareth Roberts, prosecuting, said Frederick abused the younger boy when they were both children.
He said Frederick and the boy looked at pornography and this "developed quickly" into Frederick sexually touching the boy.
During this time Mr Roberts said Frederick had groomed the child.
His behaviour culminated in him raping the boy, which Frederick pleaded guilty to.
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Speaking on behalf of the victim, Mr Roberts said he has suffered with depression and has had mental health problems since the abuse he suffered in childhood.
The court heard how the abuse only stopped when the younger child confided in his parents.
However no report was made to police until 2018.
Frederick, who was working on cruise ships, returned to the UK to be interviewed in regard to the case in November 2018.
Delays in the case brought on by the pandemic meant the victim was only able to see justice today, though.
Michael Scholes, defending, said: "Since November 2018 he [Frederick] has had this hanging over his head. All his dreams and aspirations in the theatrical world have been evaporated and ruined.
"Because of the stress of proceedings he has developed depression."
Frederick pleaded guilty to causing a child to watch a sexual act, raping a child under 13 and three counts of causing or engaging a child under 13 to engage in a sexual act.
He was acquitted of other charges following a trial.
Because of his age when the crimes were committed, the time taken for a trial and his guilty pleas, Judge Driver said his sentence would be reduced.
Calling it a "difficult case" with "exceptional circumstances," Judge Driver said although Frederick claimed the abuse between the pair was consensual and it was part of "sexual experimentation," the victim could not consent in the eyes of the law.
He added: "The sentence must be reflected with the reduced culpability of the young person who committed the offence."
Frederick must also serve 20 days of rehab.