Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has been charged with three counts of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 and one count of sexual grooming.
The England international was arrested last month on suspicion of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl and subsequently bailed.
A Durham Constabulary statement read: “Adam Johnson, a professional footballer aged 27 from Castle Eden, County Durham has this afternoon been charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 years old, plus one offence of grooming.
“Johnson was initially arrested on Monday, 2nd March and was charged after he answered his police bail today at Peterlee police station.
“He will appear at the magistrates court in Peterlee on the morning of Wednesday, May 20th.”
Johnson was initially suspended by Sunderland pending the outcome of the investigation, but he has since returned to action, making three substitute appearances under Dick Advocaat.
A Crown Prosecution Service statement on the matter read: “We have reviewed the available evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and concluded that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to charge Adam Johnson with one offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming, contrary to Section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and three offences of sexual activity with a child, contrary to Section 9 of the Sexual Offence Act 2003.
“The alleged offences date from 30 December 2014 to 26 February 2015.”