A man has been cleared of having sex with a 14-year-old girl after telling a jury, she told him she was 18.
Karzan Elias was found not guilty of having sexual intercourse with a child at Gloucester Crown Court on Friday.
The 32-year-old admitted he had sex with the schoolgirl and said he was in love with her, but did not know she was underage.
During the four day trial the court heard the teenager was reported missing by her father before she was discovered at his home in Chelsea Court, Southgate Street, Gloucester, at 6.30am on June 11, 2012.
Mr Elias told the police on his arrest the pair had not had sex, but officers found a condom in the house, which had both of their DNA on it.
He then accepted having sex with her but said he did not know she was under-age.
He told police: “She loved me and I loved her as well.”
During the trial Mr Elias told the jury: “I was scared and confused, I wasn’t paying much attention. I was frightened and I knew I was not responsible for it.
“I was sure she had told me she was 18.
“I did make up some lies on that day because I was scared, but I knew her age because she told me.
“I was scared of the allegation that I had kidnapped her. I wasn’t scared about her age, because I thought she was 18.
“I just wanted the police to leave me alone because I knew I had not done anything wrong. I didn’t know it was about her age.”
Prosecutor Virginia Cornwall alleged the girl’s friend had told him her age when they met in a shop.