Sussex

Five Brighton and Hove Albion players bailed in sex assault case

Secure van arriving at a custody centre in Sussex
Image caption The six footballers were arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman in July

The son of a Premier League manager and two first team regulars were among five Brighton and Hove Albion players questioned over an alleged sex assault.

Anton Rodgers, 18, whose father is Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers, Tommy Elphick, 24, and Lewis Dunk, 20, were arrested and bailed on Thursday.

First team squad members George Barker, 20, and Ben Sampayo, 19, were also questioned about the alleged attack.

They have been released on bail until 21 March, pending further inquiries.

Former Seagulls player Steve Cook, 20, who was signed by AFC Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee at the beginning of January, was also arrested and released on bail by police investigating allegations of a sexual assault, in July.

The Brighton and Hove Albion players were questioned the day after the Championship club, managed by Gus Poyet, beat non-league Wrexham in an FA Cup third round replay.

A spokesman for Brighton confirmed five men associated with the club were assisting police with an investigation on Thursday.

On Friday, the club said it would be making no further comment.

Bournemouth said an unnamed player was assisting police.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "Six men arrested in Brighton and Bournemouth on Thursday morning, January 19, on suspicion of sexual assault have been questioned and bailed.

"The men, aged 18, 19, two aged 20 and a 24-year-old, all from Brighton, and a 20-year-old from Bournemouth have all been bailed until March 21."

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