WARNING: This story contains references to sexual abuse and graphic content.
A 21-year-old Smithton man has avoided jail for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.
Saxon John Horton last month pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault and one count of penetrative sexual abuse of a child.
He was sentenced on Tuesday to nine months' jail wholly suspended for 18 months and he was added to the Community Protection Offender Register for three years.
The charges relate to an incident on January 20, 2019, when, after conversing with the girl through the social media app Snapchat, Horton met with her in person and they engaged in numerous sexual acts including sexual intercourse.
The court heard Horton, then 20 years old, did not use a condom and a forensic examination later found Horton's semen on the girl.
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Justice Michael Brett said while the prosecution accepted the acts had been consensual, the girl's age meant it was a criminal offence.
Justice Brett said although the girl had consented at the time, she soon afterwards expressed regret to a friend which resulted in Tasmania Police becoming involved.
"The complainant was not old enough to make a reasonably informed decision to engage in sexual conduct with you," Justice Brett told Horton.
"You were well aware of the complainant's age."
Justice Brett said the girl in her victim impact statement had expressed she was experiencing serious ongoing psychological consequences from the incident.
"It is well within the experience of the court that sexual abuse against young people [especially at a formative age] ... is likely to have significant and long-lasting impacts," he said.
"It is reasonable to expect all of the consequences may not yet have manifested."
Justice Brett said Horton outside of these crimes seemed to be an otherwise law-abiding and responsible young man.
He told Horton this incident was an "isolated act not reflecting of your normal character", and said he had taken into account the plea of guilty and the relatively limited disparity in age between Horton and the girl when choosing to hand down a wholly suspended sentence.
Justice Brett said there was a relatively low risk Horton would re-offend in the future.