Thomas Walker, 22, of Orkney Court, Worthing, appeared on bail at Brighton Crown Court on Tuesday (January 13) and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. He was found guilty after a trial last July of five offences against the girl, then aged 6 between 2003 and 2004; one offence of rape; two of sexual assault; one of indecent assault; and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He will be a registered sex offender for 10 years on his release.
Walker, who was between 11 and 12 years old at the time, raped the girl during a hide-and-seek game at a Worthing house.
He then sexually abused her on several separate occasions.
The victim finally told her mother, who contacted the police, in 2012.
Detective Constable Sarah Lovett said: “The young girl suffered the effects of Walker’s offending, directly and indirectly, for several years, but we are glad to have been able to help bring him to justice now.
“We particularly admired the dignified and courageous way in which the victim faced the task of giving evidence and facing cross-examination during Walker’s trial.”