POLICE have warned Facebook and Twitter users they could face criminal action if they identify the alleged victim in sex offence cases.
It comes after Sunderland star Adam Johnson, 27, was today charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16, and one of grooming.
He will appear in court on May 20 – the same day Sunderland play Arsenal.
A police spokeswoman said: “Anyone who identifies someone who may or may not be a victim of a sexual offence is committing a criminal act, Durham Constabulary has reiterated.
“Victims of sexual assault are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity and publishing any details, including on social media, which may lead to their identification, is contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992.
“Durham Constabulary wishes to remind social media users, and anyone else, who breaks the law that they will be dealt with robustly.”