Ex Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson has said he searched for the age of consent on the internet after a changing room discussion about laws in different countries.
The former Sunderland winger is on trial at Bradford Crown Court accused of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
The court has heard that a Google search for “legal age of consent” was made on Johnson’s phone four days after he met the girl in his car on January 30.
Johnson accepted the girl as a friend on Facebook but declined her request to follow him on Instagram. They exchanged telephone numbers and swapped messages on WhatsApp.
He said he asked for the teenager’s number because she had been asking for signed shirts.
The ex Sunderland and England footballer told the court he knew the age of consent when he asked the girl in December 2014 about when she turned 16. He said he asked the question during a conversation about drinking.
He said he searched the internet for the age of consent after a training session but added: “It had nothing to do with (her).”
Daniel Thomas, junior prosecutor in the case, read out the statement to the jury of eight women and four men.
Mr Thomas said Johnson told police he had “no specific recollection” of being sexually aroused but admitted it was a “possibility”.
He said his initial meetings with the girl were “platonic in nature” and she would regularly approach him and request signed shirts.
Reading the statement, Mr Thomas said: “I accept the stupidity of my actions.”
In the statement, Johnson apologised to the girl.
He said: “She’s a child and ought to have been safe in my company.”