Manchester United young forward Mason Greenwood has had charges of attempted rape, assault and controlling and coercive behaviour against him dropped.
Greenwood was first arrested in January 2022 over the allegations, after disturbing images and videos were posted online by a woman.
The 21-year-old was later charged by Greater Manchester Police, with a provisional trial date set for November 2023.
He had faced one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, all against the same complainant.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service announced on Thursday that they had dropped all charges against Greenwood after a key witness withdrew their involvement.
According to a CPS spokesperson: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review.
“In this case a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.
“We have explained our decision to all parties.
“We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”
Greater Manchester Police said it was ‘only fair’ to announce publicly that Greenwood would no longer face criminal proceedings.
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, said: “Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this.
“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.
“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.
“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them.
“An ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.
“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help.”
Greenwood last featured for United over a year ago, in January 2022, when the Red Devils beat West Ham 1-0.
He was arrested at the end of that month after the emergence of social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence.
United suspended Greenwood following the allegations, while he was also removed from FIFA 22 and Football Manager, and Nike terminated his sponsorship deal.
He has made 129 appearances in total for United, scoring 35 goals, and has won one cap for England.
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