Thursday 23 November 2017

Bail for nine held over naming rape victim on Twitter

Alex Diaz

NINE people have been bailed in connection with the naming on Twitter of the victim in footballer Ched Evans' rape case, police said.

Five men and four women from Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire have been bailed until July.

They were arrested yesterday on suspicion of malicious communication or under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act, or on suspicion of both offences.

North Wales Police said their investigation is continuing and further arrests are expected.

Three men from the Sheffield area were arrested and released on bail last week.

Sheffield United striker Evans was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on April 20 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

He denied the allegation and plans to appeal against the verdict.

Following the conclusion of the trial, the victim of the rape was allegedly named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other websites.

North Wales Police described the online comments as "profoundly disturbing" and said they contributed to the young woman's "continued trauma".

Rape and other sexual assault victims are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity.

Wales international Evans, 23, admitted having sex with the victim, then aged 19, at a hotel in North Wales last May.

In her evidence, the woman said she had no memory of the incident and the prosecution argued she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Evans' co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty.

Sheffield United defender Connor Brown was suspended by the club for comments he allegedly made on Twitter following the trial.

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