As if things weren't uncertain enough at Sunderland this season, Adam Johnson has finally been charged over the allegations of sexual activity with a minor.
It's a nasty situation, and not one we really want any part of gossip-mongering over, but there are two important facts here:
- Johnson has been charged with four offences - three for sexual activity with a minor and one relating to grooming.
- Despite a charge, Johnson remains innocent until proven guilty.
Following 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," he said.
Adam Johnson was arrested on 2 March this year.
We have reviewed the available evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and concluded that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to charge Adam 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 30 December 2014 to 26 February 2015.
Durham Police have charged the defendant accordingly and he is due to appear before Peterlee Magistrates on 20 May.
May I remind all concerned that the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.