Footballer rape victim given new identity
The woman raped by footballer Ched Evans has been given a new identity and relocated after the “traumatic experience” of the attack and her subsequent naming on social networks.
The victim’s name was circulated on Twitter and Facebook after former Wales and Sheffield United player Ched Evans was convicted at Caernarfon Crown Court in April of raping her.
Last month, nine people were each ordered to pay the victim £624 (€774.19) in one of the first cases of its kind, after they admitted revealing her identity.
Today North Wales Police confirmed the victim had been moved out of the area.
Detective chief inspector Steve Williams said: “The victim in this case has undergone a traumatic experience, not only the rape but the subsequent naming of her on social media sites.
“In order to bring her life back to some normality she has been offered a support package and has moved away from the area.”
Mr Williams was also quoted on the Wales Online website while addressing the Welsh Women’s Aid annual violence against women conference.
According to Wales Online he told delegates: “She now has a new identification, she’s moved away from the area, and she’s actually been able to move forward from the trauma.”
Last week Evans’s cousin, Gemma Thomas, 18 – one of the nine people convicted of naming the victim – refused to apologise to her.
Thomas took to Twitter days after her cousin’s conviction, naming the victim and calling her a “money-grabbing slut” and accusing her of “ruining lives”.
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC Radio 5 Live, Thomas said she regretted her actions but continued to stand by her cousin, who she said was innocent, and refused to offer a direct apology to the victim.
Thomas, from Rhyl, North Wales, said the fact that a jury convicted Evans of rape did not change her view and said she had been writing him letters.
She accepted what she did was wrong and apologised for her actions, but when asked if she would offer an apology directly to Evans’s victim, said: “I don’t know. No.”
Thomas and the other defendants claimed that they were not aware that naming a rape victim was a criminal offence.
The law gives the victims and alleged victims of rape and other sexual offences lifelong anonymity.
The defendants were charged with publishing material likely to lead members of the public to identify the complainant in a rape case, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992.
Last month, Prestatyn Magistrates’ Court was told that following Evans’s conviction the case attracted a huge amount of interest nationally and internationally and there were 6,000 hits about it on Twitter alone.
Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Rhyl hotel room.
Evans admitted having sex with her, but the woman told the jury she had no memory of the incident – and the prosecution said she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Last month Evans lost a challenge against his conviction for rape.
The striker had his case rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.