Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood will no longer face charges of attempted rape and assault.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday that the charges, which also included controlling and coercive behaviour, were discontinued.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Greenwood was formally charged in October after an investigation that began in January 2022.
“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,” the CPS said in a statement. “In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.”
Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 after images and videos were shared on social media.
The 21-year-old was suspended by United and not permitted to train with the team. The club has yet to comment on the decision by the CPS.
The Greater Manchester Police said it understood the reasoning for the discontinued proceedings but confirmed its “commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls”.
“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,” Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr said.
The Bradford-born player came through the United academy and made his senior debut for the Red Devils in a Champions League victory away against Paris St Germain in March 2019.