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Footballer Adam Johnson held on suspicion of sex with girl under 16

By Staff Reporter

Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson has been released on bail after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16.

The England international was questioned by police yesterday following the allegation involving a girl who is believed to be 15 years old.

He has been suspended by the club, pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Durham Constabulary said a 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16 years had been released on bail "pending ongoing investigations".

A statement from Sunderland said: "Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation. No further comment will be made at the present time."

Johnson, who was questioned at Peterlee police station in County Durham, had been due to travel with the Sunderland squad to east Yorkshire on Monday ahead of tonight's Barclays Premier League fixture at Hull.

Sources had earlier confirmed that the former Middlesbrough and Manchester City star had been arrested and remained in custody helping Durham Police with their inquires.

Police were searching his £1.8m six-bedroom home in County Durham that he reportedly shares with his long-term girlfriend. Neighbours told The Sun that officers were searching a garage in the grounds of the property.

A loaded gun was reportedly found at the property. It is thought that the weapon was legally held.

Easington-born Johnson began his career at Boro, where he emerged from the club's academy to win a £7m switch to Manchester City in February 2010.

However, Sunderland persuaded him to head back to the north-east as they clinched a £10m deal in August 2012.

Johnson, who has 12 senior England caps, has struggled to reproduce his best form on a sustained basis on Wearside.

He has endeared himself to Black Cats fans with goals in each of the club's three derby victories at Newcastle in as many seasons, though, including a late winner at St James' Park on December 21 last year.

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