Two of the youngest boys to be charged with rape appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
The schoolboys were only 10 when they were accused of rape offences by an eight-year-old girl in October, last year, in Hayes, west London.
A youngster of 11 and a boy of ten, who cannot be identified, face two charges each of rape and two charges each of attempted rape.
The trial will be before Mr Justice Saunders and lawyers will dispense with their wigs for the hearings.
Today a jury was sworn in to try the pair, before the case was adjourned until Tuesday.
Mr Justice Saunders said: ‘This case with two very young defendants brings with it unique difficulties and problems.’
The boys looked tiny sitting in the well of the court with their mothers as the jury was empanelled. The judge and lawyers in the case dispensed with their robes and wigs.
The jury was told that sitting hours had been shortened and other steps taken because the defendants were so young.
The judge, wearing a dark grey suit, blue shirt and purple tie, sat where the court clerk normally sits so he was on the same level as the boys.
The three female barristers wore smart black suits.
The alleged victim claimed she went with the boys to College Park in Hayes to play when the attack is said to have happened in October last year.
The girl, who also cannot be named, told police she was taken to bushes at the edge of the park and sexually assaulted.
Children under the age of ten cannot face criminal proceedings as they are not held to be responsible for their actions.
The charges against the youngsters were filed after advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
The alleged attack was investigated by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s recently reorganised specialist Sapphire Unit.