A 61-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl says he now wants to sue the child, the Hartlepool Mail reported today.
In July, John Thompson of Hartlepool, England, pleaded guilty to a sexual assault charge, but told the court that his victim instigated the encounter.
Thompson received an 8-month suspended sentence. He was also ordered to undergo treatment and banned from contact with anyone under the age of 16.
The former brewery employee claimed that the young child "flirted" with him before pushing him down and forcing her tongue into his mouth, according to the Sun.
"I knew it was wrong," Thompson reportedly said in a police interview, "but somehow our mouths became open. I could not push her off.”
In court, he admitted to reciprocating and kissing the girl back.
Judge Gillian Matthews noted that Thompson was "potentially high risk" to young girls, but said that suspending his sentence was the only way he could receive treatment, according to the Sun.
“You are a man of good character," Matthews told Thompson, "and that is an important feature in the sentencing assessment, and also you have pleaded guilty.”
However, Thompson is now saying he only pleaded guilty due to bad legal advice, the Daily Mail reports, and is threatening to sue the child who made the allegations.
Child protection officials have called Thompson's claims of innocence "outrageous"
“It is absolutely unacceptable for a 61-year-old man to claim that a 7-year-old girl made sexual advances to him that he could not prevent," children's charity Kidscape said in a statement.