London - Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson has been charged with three
offences of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and one of
grooming, Durham Police have said on Thursday.
The 27-year-old England international attended a police station to answer his bail, where he was charged, Durham Police said.
was initially arrested on Monday March 2, and will appear at Peterlee
Magistrates' Court in County Durham, north-east England, next month.
an investigation by Durham Police, I have today authorised police to
charge Adam Johnson, aged 27, with four offences under the Sexual
Offences Act 2003. The offences are alleged to have been committed on
one girl aged 15 at the time," Gerry Wareham, the Crown Prosecution
Service's chief crown prosecutor for the north-east, said in a
Wareham added prosecutors had concluded there was a
"realistic prospect of conviction" and that it was in the "public
interest" to charge Johnson with one offence of meeting a child
following sexual grooming, contrary to Section 15 of the Sexual Offences
Act 2003 and three offences of sexual activity with a child, contrary
to Section 9 of the Sexual Offence Act 2003.
The alleged offences date from December 30 2014 to February 26 February 2015.
statement also said that Johnson had a right to a fair trial and that
nothing should appear online "which could in any way prejudice these
proceedings," and that the complainant in this case was entitled to
lifelong anonymity under the law.
"For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further," Wareham said.
was initially suspended by Sunderland pending the outcome of police
investigations but, after consultations with the Professional
Footballers' Association, he was allowed to resume training and has been
a regular for the Premier League strugglers this season.
12 times by England, Johnson began his career with Middlesbrough and
returned to his native north-east in 2012 when he joined Sunderland from
Manchester City in a £10 million deal.
Sunderland, just a point above the relegation zone, are away to Stoke on Saturday.