BRADFORD, England (AP) — Former England soccer international Adam Johnson faces jail after being found guilty of sexual activity with a child.
Johnson was sacked by Sunderland as the trial started last month when he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl and another of “grooming” – building an emotional connection with a child to gain trust for sexual motives.
Two further counts of sexual activity with a child were denied by Johnson. A jury cleared him of one count on Wednesday but convicted him of another by a majority of 10-2.
The judge said a custodial sentence was an “almost inevitable outcome” with a range of four to 10 years likely for the sentence.
Johnson was granted bail until the sentencing hearing.
UPDATE: Sunderland has released a lengthy statement regarding the issue, outlining its role in Johnson’s employment throughout the judicial process and addressing allegations that the club was involved in Johnson’s guilty pleas.
“The club only became aware of the change of plea, in relation to two of the four counts on the indictment, on the first day of the trial, after hearing it reported through the media,” Sunderland wrote in the statement. “The club was not advised in advance that Mr. Johnson would plead guilty to any offence. Had the club known that Mr. Johnson intended to plead guilty to any of these charges, then his employment would have been terminated immediately. Indeed, upon learning of the guilty plea on 11 February 2016, the club acted quickly and decisively in terminating Adam Johnson’s contract without notice.”