Adam Johnson: EPL star pleads guilty to child sex charge

    Adam Johnson arrives with girlfriend Stacey Flounders at the Crown Court on February 10, 2016 in Bradford, England.

    Story highlights

    • English soccer player Adam Johnson pleads guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child
    • Johnson also admits to one count of grooming, denies two further allegations
    • Trial to begin in Bradford, England on Friday

    (CNN)An English Premier League soccer player and England international has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child.

    Sunderland forward Adam Johnson appeared at Bradford Crown Court in the north of England where he denied two further child sex allegations, but admitted to one count of grooming a girl under the age of 16, the court confirmed to CNN.
      Johnson, who last played for England in August 2012, was arrested in March 2015 and was initially suspended by Sunderland before returning to the team a fortnight later.
      Sunderland declined to comment on the grounds the case was ongoing with a trial set to start on Friday. Johnson played and scored for the team during last weekend's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
      Johnson will not be included in Sunderland's squad to face Manchester United Saturday.
      British newspaper the Guardian reports Johnson answered, "Guilty, yeah" when asked about intentionally touching a schoolgirl in a sexual way knowing she was underage.
      It also reports Johnson pleaded guilty to grooming the girl online between December 30, 2014 and February 26, 2015.
      According to regional newspaper The Evening Chronicle, Johnson will be forced to sign the sex offenders register following his guilty plea.
      Johnson's legal representatives declined to comment when contacted by CNN.
      While playing for Manchester City between 2010 and 2012, Johnson won the Premier League title and the FA Cup.