Sunderland Soccer Star Adam Johnson Found Guilty Of Child Sex Charge
How big a deal is the Adam Johnson verdict? Well, it's a big deal in that Johnson, the one-time top scorer for a bottom-of-the-table Premier League team, has played his last match that doesn't take place in a prison rec yard.
Johnson was found guilty today in an English court of one count of illegal touching of a child under the age of 16, and acquitted of another charge. He'll be sentenced in two to three weeks. And so ends this ugly saga -- in the courtroom, at any rate. For the girl, her anguish may be only beginning.
I don't know the English judicial system well enough to understand how the jury could separate the two charges, finding him guilty of one but not guilty of the other, but he is in for a reasonably lengthy prison sentence. (The judge told him to "say goodbye to your daughter. You won't be seeing her for awhile.") And Johnson deserves whatever he gets. He's human garbage in a tailored suit, who attempted to blame boredom for his habit of texting women (and at least one underage girl), and that growing up in the football youth system stunted his mental growth. But those are all lame excuses for sexually abusing a 15-year-old.
I dare anyone to shake their head and express any kind of sympathy for Johnson. He knew the girl was underage literally hours after he began talking to her (on Facebook), and a further 800+ messages on another social media site, and the hour or so they spent together. It has permanently affected her life, robbing her not only of her trust, her innocence, her reputation and who knows what else. She was a lifelong Black Cats supporter who looked up to Johnson and lived for attending matches -- and now she feels like she can't even go near the home stadium. Sunderland supporters have heaped abuse on her since the trial began.
This isn't about Johnson failing to be a role model (he's not Jack Wilshere, sneaking cigarettes outside a club). It's about his failure, period. He failed his family, his daughter and most of all, he failed that unnamed 15-year-old girl who will serve her own kind of sentence that is much longer and much more painful than whatever Johnson is given.
Adam Johnson seemingly had it all -- the talented winger was a true wunderkind who had had signed a £10 million contract in 2012 with his hometown club, Sunderland. His girlfriend, Stacy Flounders, was pregnant with their first child in 2014, when Johnson began his relationship with the 15-year-old.
In Feb., 2015, Johnson was arrested on three charges of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of child grooming. He admitted to two of those charges. Then today he was convicted on one additional charge -- illegal touching of a child. Johnson admitted kissing the girl in his car. On hearing that back on Feb. 11, Sunderland immediately sacked him.
And as we've learned time and time again when celebrity meets the judicial system, fame usually trumps common sense. Sunderland supporters made the girl's life a living hell, assuming that she was lying. That blind trust looks pretty pathetic now.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) March 2, 2016
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