Just when it seemed like the weirdest bits of Adam Johnson’s criminal case involving his sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl had already come out, even more emerges and the whole thing gets even stranger.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the judge gave Johnson a six-year prison term stemming from sexual activity with a minor and grooming charges. The judge noted a number of exacerbating circumstances in this case, which led him to impose the six-year term length—specifically: 1) that Johnson inflicted even more emotional distress on his victim by protesting his innocence publicly from the time he was arrested until the first day of his trial a year later, causing the victim additional anguish as she fought criticism that she was a liar who made everything up; and 2) that some of those close to Johnson, including his sister, directed the player’s fans to heap scorn on the victim on social media.
The Guardian has some excerpts of the victim’s and her mother’s statements at the hearing:
“I have felt very intimidated by it all and I’ve felt very lonely at times when I’ve felt everyone is against me due to Adam Johnson protesting his innocence and continuing to put himself in the public eye and ultimately it was like I was being taunted as if to say he could do what he wants and get away with it.”
In a separate victim impact statement, the girl’s mother said her family had endured “heartache, criticism and slanderous remarks” and that she felt powerless to protect her daughter who, she said, had been subjected to “thousands of malicious remarks and some disturbing threats of violence made towards her”.
Both sides readily admitted that the broad circumstances surrounding Johnson’s meeting with his victim were not all that out of the ordinary for the player, whom one psychologist diagnosed with “hypersexual disorder.” From the Guardian:
Each of the psychologists that examined Johnson concluded that he needed treatment but that he does not pose a significant risk to children. The medics described Johnson as having a very high libido and a tendency to engage in sexual activity to a compulsive degree with a number of women.
Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said Johnson’s offending was “calculated, considered, carefully-orchestrated” and that he still represented a threat to young women, and that he “was in the habit of meeting girls on the way back from training to have sex” in clandestine locations.
With the case concluded, the judge opened the police records into their investigation of Johnson, which revealed that the former Sunderland winger had been taking medication to treat an STD at the time he was arrested, as well as an disturbing porn video found on the computer they confiscated:
It can now be disclosed that Johnson was also arrested for possessing extreme pornography – believed to be a bestiality video – on his laptop, after Judge Rose lifted reported restrictions following Johnson’s sentencing.
Johnson was arrested for possessing the obscene video after detectives searched his laptop following his arrest over child sex offences on 2 March 2015. Police are understood to have have told Johnson he will face no further action over the video, which is said to have been “jokey” in nature.
Along with the prison sentence, Johnson was ordered to pay £50,000 of the prosecution’s legal fees. The former player’s salary while at Sunderland was £60,000 per week.
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