Harry Wilkinson, 72, was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl on a lane in Scarcliffe, Chesterfield, in 1963.
He had taken the victim for a ride in his car before parking up in a layby and carrying out the assault.
The offence was reported last year and an investigation was launched.
Wilkinson, of Cavendish Road, Bolsover, was arrested and charged, and denied the offence during a trial at Derby Crown Court.
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But he was found guilty by a jury and was sentenced to two years in prison on August 5 – 52 years after the offence.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
DC Julian Hall, who led the investigation, said: “This case just shows that even with the passage of many years, we will do all we can to investigate these types of offences.
“The victim in this case was extremely brave in coming forward and reliving what happened to her decades ago during the trial.
“Now that her abuser has been jailed, I hope that it will provide some closure for her.”
To find out about the support available for victims of sexual abuse, and to report a crime, visit www.derbyshire.police.uk