Charges of attempted rape and assault against Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood have been dropped by prosecutors, British police said on Thursday.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the withdrawal of key witnesses and the discovery of new material were factors in their decision to stop the case against the 21-year-old.
Greater Manchester Police said it was ‘fair’ they announced that Greenwood, who was arrested in January last year, would no longer face criminal charges ‘given the extensive coverage media of this affair”.
The attacker initially faced one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behavior and one count of assault causing actual bodily harm, all against the same plaintiff.
“In this case, the combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction,” the CPS said in a statement.
“Under these circumstances, we have a duty to stop the matter.”
In a statement, Manchester United said they took note of the CPS’ decision “that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped”.
“The club will now conduct its own process before determining the next steps. We will not comment further until this process is complete,” he said.
Greenwood, who has played 129 times for United, scoring 35 goals, last played for United against West Ham in January last year.
“Given the extensive media coverage of this case, it is only fair to share the news that the 21-year-old man, who was arrested and charged in an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal charges in relation to this,” Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr said.
“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing all important updates, and thus understands the rationale for discontinuing the prosecution at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.
“Despite the media and public interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in more detail.
Greenwood, a product of United’s academy, and once considered one of the brightest prospects in English football, made his senior debut for the Red Devils in a Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain in March 2019.
He signed a new contract at United in February 2021 which runs until at least 2025.
The striker made his England debut against Iceland in September 2020 but he and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden were sent home after breaching the team’s coronavirus guidelines.
Nike suspended and later terminated its sponsorship deal with the player, while Electronic Arts confirmed its removal from active teams on its FIFA 22 game following his arrest.
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