Charges including attempted rape and assault against Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood have been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Greater Manchester Police said.
The CPS said there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction” after key witnesses withdrew their cooperation from the investigation.
Greenwood was arrested on January 31 2022 on suspicion of rape and assault, and further arrested on February 1 2022 on suspicion of sexual assault and making threats to kill.
He was charged in October with one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
All three charges related to the same woman.
He had been due to stand trial in November 2023.
Manchester United had suspended the 21-year-old England international.
A Greater Manchester Police statement on Thursday read: “Criminal proceedings against a 21-year-old man in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022 have, today (Thursday 2 February 2023), been discontinued by the CPS.”
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, added: “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.”
A CPS spokesperson told The Athletic: “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.”
Manchester United have been contacted for comment.
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