A former Buxton man had an online "sexual fantasy relationship" with a 13-year-old American girl and asked her to send him an explicit photo of herself, a court heard.
Brett Healey, 26, sent messages to the teenager, including one where he wrote “send me a picture of your kitty” referring to her private parts, Derby Crown Court heard.
The girl's sister told Healey that she was only 13 but after police raided his house in Buxton, they found the sexual image of her on his iPhone.
Sentencing him, Judge John Burgess said: “You pleaded guilty to one offence of possession of an indecent image of a girl who you thought was 16 but who turned out to be 13.
“The two of you engaged in a sexual fantasy relationship, she was in Kentucky and you were in Derbyshire.
“From now on you should be very careful who you contact and who you communicate with over the internet.”
Prosecutor Esther Harrison said police seized two iPhones when they carried out a warrant at Healey's address in Buxton on November 5, 2016.
When they were examined, one sexual image of the 13-year-old girl was found.
She added: "There was evidence of chat logs between the defendant and the victim in which various sexually explicit messages had been exchanged between them.
“They included one in which he said ‘show me your kitty’ and another that said ‘send me a pic of you, baby’.
“The two of them were living out a sexual fantasy relationship. She sent him a photograph of her bottom cheeks spread apart.
“She was 13 and she was claiming to be 16 or 17. Her sister sent a screen shot and notified the defendant she was 13.
“But the Crown accepts that he believed she was 16.”
Healey, now of Edgmoor Close, Shawford, near Rochdale, pleaded guilty to possession of an indecent image.
He was given a 12-month community order and was placed on the sex offender's register for five years, during which he will be barred from working with children.
Eddie Leonard, mitigating, said: “These are extremely unusual circumstances. There is no evidence he was seeking out a child, this was one image and it was more than two years ago.
“This was not a chat room designed for people looking for younger members of the opposite sex.
“She had been in contact with other males prior to this.”
* A version of this story first appeared on the Derby Telegraph.