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The police officer told the child sex offender: "Do it with someone your own age next time."

A police officer allegedly told the rapist: “Do it with someone your own age next time.”

Trigger warning: This post deals with child sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.

Three years ago, every parent’s fear became reality for one family — and they’re still waiting for justice to be served.

In August 2011, a five-year-old girl was beckoned into a bedroom by the 12-year-old son of a family friend, the Daily Mail reports.

He pulled the curtains, showed the little girl porn on his laptop, then raped her.

The girl reported the horrifying incident to her mum the next day, and her parents immediately reported the attack. But while the culprit subsequently admitted the rape, the little girl and her family are still waiting for a conviction.

As the Daily Mail reports, the handling of the case involved a string of apparent mistakes and alleged cover-ups on the part of authorities — beginning with a “rude and unhelpful” officer who received the girl’s parent’s initial report.

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Six weeks after making that report, the family learned via an answerphone message that the case had been concluded — and that the perpetrator had merely been cautioned.

Officers also neglected to take fingerprints, DNA samples or photographs and ignored opportunities to instigate a child protection joint investigation with Social Care, the Daily Mail reports.

Disturbingly, a police officer dealing with the case allegedly told the perpetrator: “Do it with someone your own age next time.”

The Child Abuse Unit officers also failed to place the offender on the Sex Offenders’ Register as they should have.

“All of those who should have protected our daughter at such a vulnerable age have let her down,” the girl’s mother Sara* told The Daily Mail. “These people should be held to account.

“How can we ever have confidence in the police again? They dealt leniently with the rapist yet relentlessly pursued us.”

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Now, the little girl has written a letter to each of the child abuse officers involved — and it’s nothing short of heartbreaking.

“Dear Sir, When I was five something very bad happened and it was your job to make sure he was properly dealt with and punished. But you didn’t do your job and you let me down,” the letter reads.

“I thought police are ment [sic] to be good and catch the bad people but you didn’t,” it reads.

“I hope you behave better in future and do the right thing. I hope one day soon he gets what he deserves.”

The little girl, now eight, received no responses to that desperate plea.

She had previously asked written questions of Essex Police Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson. He did respond, saying “I am very sorry for the mistakes made by Essex Police when we looked in to finding out what had happened to you… I am really sorry that you have had such a horrible experience and I wish you the very best for the future.”

But the letter did little to convince the little girl’s family they would ever achieve justice, the Daily Mail reports.

The newspaper reports that two of the Essex Police Child Abuse Unit officers involved in the bungled investigation remain as serving officers on the team, while Essex Police has confirmed in a statement that three officers had been issued with written warnings.

“(O)ur daughter believes no one in authority ever listened to her. Or ever will again,” Sara told the newspaper.

“For our family it will never be over,” the devastated mother added. “Our family no longer has any faith in law and order nor in justice.

“For our daughter, there has been none.”

* The courts have banned identifying anyone involved, and Sara’s name has been changed.

If this post brings up issues for you or if you have survived child sexual abuse, you can visit Bravehearts or call the organisations’ Information and Support Line on 1800 272 831.

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