Sunderland's Johnson pleads not guilty to underage sex charges

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Adam Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual activity with an underage girl at Durham Crown Court.

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson appeared at court to deny charges of sexual activity with an underage girl. 

The England international was charged with three counts of sexual activitiy with a girl under the age of 16 and one of sexual grooming in April.

Johnson was subsequently bailed following a hearing at Peterlee Magistrates' Court on May 18, and entered a not guilty plea to all charges at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday.

A trial is now set to begin on August 24.

Johnson was originally suspended by Sunderland following his initial arrest in March, but was later reinstated and played a part in the club's successful fight against Premier League relegation.

The former Middlesbrough player has earned 12 international caps with England, scoring two goals in Euro 2012 qualifying victories against Bulgaria and Switzerland.