IN 1993 a Far Northern girl was raped near an isolated beach -but the greatest tragedy about the case was only revealed this week.

The defendant, now in his early 40s, was ordered to pay the token amount to assist the woman with ongoing counselling.

Cairns District Court this week heard the 1993 crime nearly went ignored after the girl's family did not report the rape, despite the child being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease after the incident.

"The greatest tragedy is those responsible for the care of the complainant did not seek assistance from the police," crown prosecutor Jodie Crane said.

"No assistance was offered to take the complainant to the police despite her family knowing what had happened."

The court heard the then eight-year-old child was approached by the defendant, then 15.

He offered her a lift on his bicycle to a beach where her friends were waiting but instead took her to a nearby walking track where he forced himself on her.

"She was scared but complied," Ms Crane said. "She was unable to yell out for help - she couldn't speak, there was nothing she could do."

Ms Crane told the court the girl was later treated at hospital and told she had contracted gonorrhoea.

But health records dating back to 1993 could not be located and could not be shown to the court.

"She was traumatised, having to take medication for the disease," Ms Crane said.

The complainant woman reported the crime at the urging of her partner in 2016 after seeing her rapist and reliving the incident.

The court heard the woman, who had struggled with the trauma and lived on the streets, had forgiven her family but wanted acknowledgement from her rapist.

In a letter to the court, she said the rape "took my smile away".

"Her main concern was that she receive an apology for what happened,' Ms Crane said.

She said the defendant had not committed any similar offences since 1993.

Josh Trevino, defending, said his client had tested negative to gonorrhoea three years after the offence.

The accused - who had previously intended to fight the charge at trial - pleaded guilty to rape but could not be sentenced as an adult as he offended as a juvenile.

Judge Dean Morzone ordered the defendant be of good behaviour for 18 months and pay $1000 compensation.

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