May 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Three men have been arrested as part of the investigation into the naming on Twitter of the victim in the Ched Evans rape case, police said today.
The former Norwich City footballer was jailed for five years last week for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.
Two of the men have been arrested under the Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act and the third is being held on suspicion of malicious communication, police said.
They are being detained by South Yorkshire Police at Sheffield police station, where they are being interviewed by officers from North Wales Police.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Williams, of North Wales Police, said: “These arrests were made with the assistance of South Yorkshire Police and are part of a series of planned arrests we will be making during this ongoing investigation.”
Wales international and Sheffield United striker Evans, 23, was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman, who was “too drunk to consent”.
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.
Evans 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.
Evans announced on Tuesday that he would appeal against his conviction.
Sheffield United defender Connor Brown was suspended by the club for comments he allegedly made on Twitter following the trial.
The Blades’ reserve-team player responded to Evans’ five-year prison sentence by tweeting various comments in relation to the case and his support for his teammate.