Adam Johnson Pleads Guilty in Grooming, Child Sex Case: Latest Details, Reaction

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured Columnist

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  Adam Johnson arrives at the Crown Court on February 10, 2016 in Bradford, England. The Sunderland FC midfielder, aged 28 and from Castle Eden, County Durham, is on trial having previously denied three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming. He has one daughter.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Adam Johnson pleaded guilty to "one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming" on Feb. 10 and was subsequently sacked by Sunderland.

Johnson has since been convicted on one count and cleared of another.

Continue for updates.

Johnson Found Guilty on One Charge of Sexual Activity

Wednesday, March 2

Josh Halliday of the Guardian reported the news, noting Johnson was "found guilty of penetrating the schoolgirl with his fingers." Johnson was found guilty on a majority verdict of 10-2.

The guilty verdict followed word that Johnson was found "not guilty on count two of sexual activity (oral sex) with a child," via Craig Hope of the Daily Mail

Johnson Gives Evidence in Court

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Per Richard Spillett of the MailOnline, Johnson was asked by QC Orlando Pownall, "Did you give the girl your number because you wanted to have a sexual relationship with her?" Johnson then replied: "Yeah."

However, when questioned by his lawyer on whether the pair had engaged in oral sex, Johnson replied: "No," per Spillett.

Johnson had previously denied sexual motive, per Halliday.

Halliday relayed further details supplied by Johnson, who provided a statement before taking to the stand:

Girl Provides Account of Meeting with Johnson

Monday, Feb. 15 

"I got a message from Sunderland player Adam Johnson who I'd idolised for quite a while," the unnamed girl said, recalling a meeting that occurred after Johnson had signed shirts for her, per BBC News

"I was well up for it. It was a surreal type of thing. I met up with him again. I gave him his thank you kiss and more. ... I was kissing him for quite a while.

"He undid the button on my trousers. It took him a while to do that."

According to the BBC, the girl then described sexual activity that took place between the pair before commenting: "As much as I expected it to happen, I was a bit shocked it had. I sort of knew I had done something wrong. It wasn't that I didn't want it or anything. I just knew it was wrong."

Prosecutor Details Johnson Case

Friday, Feb. 12

The prosecution accused Johnson of having "abused his revered position in society" with respect to the then-15-year-old girl, who is said to have been a Black Cats season-ticket holder and a huge fan of the footballer, per the Press Association (via the Daily Mail).

Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC told the court how enamoured the girl was with the team, particularly Johnson:

Her (the girl's) real passion was Sunderland Football Club.

She was a season ticket holder and rarely missed a home game and her favourite player was Adam Johnson. After matches, she would hang around waiting for a glimpse of him, wanting to get a photograph, often sporting a Sunderland shirt with Johnson's name emblazoned across the back. ...

She often waited for him after home matches, hoping to catch a glimpse of him before he drove away, keen for any contact, an autograph or, even better, a photograph. She had one enormous crush on him. He was her absolute hero. She idolised him.

As noted in the aforementioned piece, the prosecution claimed Johnson and the girl first made contact in December 2014 on Facebook.

Halliday outlined some of the exchange said to have taken place between the footballer and the girl:

Sunderland Sack Johnson

Thursday, Feb. 11

"In light of Johnson's guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect. The club will make no further comment," noted Sunderland in an official statement.

Johnson Admits Two Charges

Wednesday, Feb. 10

"Since his arrest last March, Johnson had denied four charges. But after some legal argument this morning, two of the charges were put to him again, and he has admitted them," reported Martin Brunt of Sky.

Further, the count Johnson pleaded guilty to regarded "the kissing and touching of his victim," whom he confessed he was aware was underage. Laura Hill of the Chronicle reported Johnson will be added to the sex offenders register following his admission of guilt.

The 28-year-old was arrested on March 2, 2015, and he was eventually charged with three counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl and one count of grooming.

After Johnson denied two of the four charges against him, the BBC's Jonathan Swingler provided a likely timeline for the trial:

The Black Cats winger began his career at Middlesbrough before signing for Manchester City in 2010. Johnson made almost 100 appearances with the Sky Blues and joined Sunderland in 2012.


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