Family stands by EPL player suspected of having sex with 15-year-old

Adam Johnson, 27, a winger for English Premier League club Sunderland, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

But his family maintained he is "100 per cent'' innocent and said that his girlfriend will stand by him, Mail Online reported.

He has been bailed until the middle of the month.

It is unclear where the alleged assault is said to have taken place, and police would not release any further details.

His club released a statement saying that he has been suspended "pending the outcome of the investigation", AFP reported.

Johnson's arrest comes just weeks after his long-term girlfriend, Miss Stacey Flounders, 25, recently posted photographs of the couple's first child, Ayla Sofia, who was born on Jan 8.

Her mother told the Daily Mirror that her daughter and Johnson, who earns about £50,000 (S$105,000) a week, were still "very close" and "absolutely still together".

"He hasn't been found guilty of anything. He is a great lad and has not done anything wrong. This is a horrible situation," she was quoted as saying.


Johnson gained a reputation as a keen partygoer when he played for Manchester City five years ago.

At the time, he was renting Cristiano Ronaldo's former house near Alderley Edge and would often be seen in the village socialising with fellow players and women.

A source told Mail Online that he liked the attention of being a well-known footballer and attracting women was not a problem.

Said the source: "He would often leave his car in the village after a night out as he liked a drink and would always get a taxi home."

After he signed for Sunderland in 2012 for £10m from Manchester City, he began dating Miss Flounders.

Friends say Johnson opted to live near the quiet hamlet of Castle Eden to get away from the "bright lights" of city life.

The Football Association refused to comment on the arrest of Johnson, who has represented England 12 times but didn't make it to the squad for the Brazil World Cup last year.

Johnson's current home is a stunning gated property that boasts six bedrooms and a sweeping gravel drive, set in almost a hectare of mature woodland.

Meanwhile, the police said a blank firing pistol, which replicates the sound of real gunshots but does not require a licence to own, was also recovered during a search of his property.

This article was first published on March 4, 2015.
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