THREATS made to name the alleged victim in the Adam Johnson sex inquiry are being considered by police and prosecutors.
Durham Constabulary has issued a warning, reminding anyone who identifies someone who may or may not be the victim of a sex offence is against the law.
The Sunderland player has been bailed until next month after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16.
The 27-year-old, who lives in a £1.8million mansion in Castle Eden and was raised in Easington, was questioned by police after the allegation involving a girl who is believed to be 15-years-old.
His club has suspended him pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Reports have claimed the girl has already been named online.
We are aware that a number of social media users have threatened to identify the victim in this case and this is a matter we will be discussing in due course with the Crown Prosecution Service
Sunderland-born Johnson, who has appeared for England, became a dad in January, with his partner Stacey Flounders, who is from Hartlepool, reported to be standing by him.
A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “We are aware that a number of social media users have threatened to identify the victim in this case and this is a matter we will be discussing in due course with the Crown Prosecution Service.
“We would stress again the warning we have already given, that anyone who publishes anything which may identify the victim of a sexual offence is committing a criminal act and will be dealt with accordingly.”
The force has previously issued guidance detailing 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.
As part of the reminder, it set out that anyone who breaks the law, whether via social media or otherwise, will be dealt with robustly.”