Soham killer Ian Huntley is to receive legal aid to fight a case against a woman who claims he sexually assaulted her when she was 11 years old.
Huntley is serving two life sentences in Wakefield prison.
Hailey Giblin, 20, believed she had won a civil case against him in October but has learned he will contest the action.
She says the attack was in Cleethorpes in 1997 - five years before he killed Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
The Legal Services Commission said about £1,000 had been allocated to his solicitors to challenge the case.
"Ian Huntley has got legal aid and the case is ongoing," a spokesman said.
"Ms Giblin is bringing a case against him and the money is to be used to defend that action."
The spokesman went on: "Clearly this is a very sensitive case but we have a responsibility to provide funding for cases where the client meets a financial eligibility test and a legal merits test, which consider factors such as the case's likelihood of success.
"We cannot differentiate between applicants for legal aid on the grounds that a decision to grant funding may be unpopular in a particular case."
The civil case, which Ms Giblin is bringing to court privately, is due to be heard at Manchester County Court on Thursday at 10am.
In 1997, then known as Hailey Edwards, she reported the alleged attack and officers interviewed Huntley but took no action due to a lack of evidence.
Huntley, 32, who is serving a double life sentence in Wakefield Prison, west Yorkshire, for the murder of the two 10-year-olds, is understood to have initially filed no defence but changed his mind.
Ms Giblin said she was horrified that he was going to be given legal aid.