Police in Durham, England, arrested Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson Monday on suspicion that he engaged in sexual activity with an underage girl, according to various reports. The 27-year-old soccer player remains in police custody and will not play in any of his team’s Premier League games until the police investigation is resolved.
“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,” the club said in a statement, according to the Guardian.
Police initially said they had arrested an unnamed 27-year-old man on suspicion he engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Johnson’s involvement in the arrest was later uncovered by The Sun newspaper.
“A 27-year-old man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16,” a Durham Police spokesman said. “He remains in police custody and is helping officers with their inquiries.”
Johnson, who also plays for the English national soccer team, was purportedly questioned and arrested at the Durham home he shares with his girlfriend. Authorities purportedly discovered a gun on the premises, but Johnson was identified as its legal owner.
“Three undercover cars and [a crime van] arrived. You could tell they were police officers; they were all dressed in black,” a neighbor told The Sun. “I haven’t seen the player all day. I just assumed there had been a burglary.”
He was scheduled to travel with Sunderland to the team’s match Tuesday night against Hull City in East Yorkshire, according to the BBC. He has scored 17 goals for Sunderland since his acquisition in 2012, the Telegraph notes.
Johnson has made 12 appearances in international play during his career. Aside from Sunderland, he has also played in the Premier League for Middlebrough and Manchester City.