One year to the day after being arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl, and about a month after pleading guilty to two charges related to the case, former Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has been convicted of another charge of sexual activity with a child—one of the two brought against him at trial.
Here’s the Guardian on the charges Johnson had previously admitted to, the one he was acquitted of, and the additional one he was found guilty of today:
Johnson had denied all four of the allegations until the first day of his trial, when he pleaded guilty to one count of grooming and one count of kissing the schoolgirl.
He continued to deny that he did anything further than kiss the teenager and disputed her allegation that she performed oral sex on him and that he penetrated her with his fingers.
Johnson avoided conviction on the oral sex charge but the jury decided he was in fact guilty of finger penetration.
The judge granted Johnson bail until sentencing, but made clear that the former soccer player will be serving significant prison time:
The judge Jonathan Rose told Johnson a custodial sentence was “an almost inevitable outcome” when he is sentenced in two to three weeks at Bradford crown court.
He said his preliminary view was that the case fell into the category of a five-year prison sentence with a range of four to 10 years.
Judge Rose told Johnson as he was granting him bail that he should use the opportunity to “say goodbye to your daughter” because “you will not see her for some time”.
Another disturbing revelation to emerge from the case was that Sunderland—Johnson’s employers until last month—had access to a lot of the evidence on hand, including the troubling text messages the two sent each other in which, among other things, Johnson admitted to knowing that the victim had only just turned 15 and expressed his desire to have sex with her at a future meeting. But the team chose to continue employing him until he plead guilty to two charges at the start of his trial.
Johnson’s sentencing is to take place in two-to-three weeks.
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