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3 June 2015, 11:06
Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson has denied three charges of sexual activity with a girl under 16 in his first appearance at Crown Court.
The 27-year-old star, of Castle Eden, County Durham, who appeared in the dock dressed in a grey suit and white shirt, also denied one charge of grooming.
Johnson entered Durham Crown Court surrounded by his legal team, and spoke to enter his not guilty pleas.
The winger was arrested in March after he was accused of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
The three counts of sexual activity with a child were alleged to have taken place on one night in January at two locations in County Durham, while the offence of meeting a child after sexual grooming was alleged to have happened between December and February.
The winger has played 12 times for England.
Born in Sunderland, Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then Sunderland for £10 million in 2012.
UPDATED 24TH April 2015
Sunderland say their position over midfielder Adam Johnson "remains unchanged" after he was charged with child sex offences.
The 27 year old was charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming.
Following his arrest last month he was suspended by the club, before being reinstated under new head coach Dick Advocaat.
In a statement the club said:
"Following yesterday's statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review."
"The club will not be making any further comment."
UPDATED 23rd April 2015
Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson has been charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming.
The 27-year-old star attended a police station to answer his bail, where he was charged, Durham Police said.
He was initially arrested on Monday March 2, and will appear at Peterlee Magistrates' Court in County Durham next month.
The winger, who has played 12 times for England, was initially suspended and then reinstated by his club after being arrested at his mansion in leafy Castle Eden, County Durham.
After his bail was previously extended by police, the decision was taken to allow him to return to play for Sunderland while the investigation continued.