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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

Adam Johnson convicted of sexual activity with a child

02/03/2016

Ex-Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson, 28, has been found guilty after trial of one count of sexual activity with a child. Mr Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to an additional count of sexual activity with a child and one grooming charge in relation to that offence. He was found not guilty after trial of one further charge of sexual activity with a child.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Gerry Wareham, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East said: "Adam Johnson was idolised by many young fans for his football career. However, he chose to exploit that fame to actively pursue a 15 year old girl for his own sexual gratification, in full knowledge of her age.

"The law in this country regarding sexual activity between adults and those under the age of 16 is clear. It exists to protect children from more experienced adults wishing to take advantage of them.

"Adam Johnson knew that what he was doing was wrong and went to great lengths to hide it. He encouraged his young victim to delete any traces of their online contact and, when she reported what had happened to police, he initially claimed to be unaware of her true age and told police that he had only ever kissed her.

"While he eventually admitted to those charges for which there was overwhelming documentary evidence, he continued to deny the true extent of their sexual contact.

"The victim in this case has endured months of abuse and personal attacks online. Had Adam Johnson wished to do so, he could have spared her further alarm and distress. I would like to thank her for her bravery in coming forward and giving evidence."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  4. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk.
  5. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.