Ched Evans Rape Case: Thirteenth Arrest Following 'Naming' Of Victim On Twitter

PA/Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: 2/05/2012 17:21 Updated: 2/05/2012 17:34

Twitter
13 arrests have been made following the naming on the micro-blogging site

A thirteenth arrest has been made in connection with the naming on Twitter of the victim in footballer Ched Evans' rape case.

A man from Rhyl was held today on suspicion of malicious communication, North Wales Police said.

Earlier, nine people were bailed pending further inquiries after being arrested yesterday and questioned on suspicion of malicious communication or under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act.

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

Sheffield United and Wales striker Evans was jailed for five years at Caernarfon Crown Court on 20 April 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.

A North Wales Police spokesman said: "A man from Rhyl has been arrested this afternoon as part of the investigation by North Wales Police into the naming of a rape victim on social media sites.

"The man is currently being questioned at St Asaph police station on suspicion of malicious communication."
Detective Sergeant Bob Halford, who is leading the investigation, said further arrests are expected.

He added: "This latest arrest shows our positive attitude and determination to pursue this investigation and more arrests will be made."

Yesterday's arrests involved five men and four women from Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire who have all been bailed until July.

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

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

Evans, 23, admitted having sex with the woman at a hotel in North Wales last May.

In her evidence, she 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.

Meanwhile, 16,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for Evans to be removed from an end-of-season honours list, the organisers said.

The shamed footballer was included in the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) League One team of the year.Teacher Leo Hardt started the petition, on the website Change.org, claiming the footballer's inclusion on the list sends out a "very troubling message".

Hardt, Justine Roberts, the founder and CEO of Mumsnet, and Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition today wrote to PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor expressing their concern.

Hardt said: "It is simply unacceptable that a convicted rapist remains on this honours list."

Dustin added: "Football fans, and especially young people, look to successful football players as role models.

"Such recognition from the PFA sends a message that off the pitch behaviour, whatever it be, does not matter, when it clearly does."

Mr Taylor last week defended the decision to include Evans in the list, which was voted on before the jury reached their verdict.

He told Press Association Sport: "That was a football judgment by his fellow professionals, it was not a moral judgment and in no way does the PFA condone the offence for which he was convicted.

"If he had been removed from the team it would have created more of a storm and would have been manipulating the vote.

"Votes are cast on footballing ability, obviously everyone is quite disturbed about the conviction and whether that would have changed the vote we just don't know."

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