Premier League: Sunderland winger Adam Johnson pleads not guilty to underage sex charges
Sunderland and England winger Adam Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual activity with a 15 year old girl.
The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty at Durham Crown Court to three counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 and another of grooming.
The winger, who has played 12 times for England, was arrested in March.
Johnson, from Castle Eden, County Durham, was released on conditional bail ahead of his trial on 24 August.
The three counts of sexual activity relate to a single night in January at two locations in County Durham, while the grooming offence was said to have happened between December and February.
The Sunderland winger was initially suspended by Sunderland but was soon after allowed to play for the club again as they managed to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
He began his career at Middlesbrough before a big money move to Manchester City, before eventually returning to the North East with the Black Cats.