Charges of attempted rape and assault against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood were dropped on Thursday due to the withdrawal of key witnesses, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced. A charge of controlling and coercive behavior was also dropped, according to the CPS.
A spokesperson in the CPS statement said, “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.”
CNN reached out to Greenwood’s legal representation for comment but did not immediately hear back. According to The Guardian, Greenwood denied the charges of attempted rape.
A Manchester United statement released Thursday said, “Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
“The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) head of public protection, said in a statement the decision to drop charges was not “taken lightly” and reiterated “GMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls.”
“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help,” Kerr said.
Greenwood was charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behavior, and section 47 assault of a woman in October 2022.
Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 following the emergence of videos and images on social media. The 21-year-old, who has played once for England, was suspended by Manchester United the same month and has not played for the club since. Nike also suspended its relationship with Greenwood.