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Ched Evans retrial – process will discourage women from reporting rape

This article is over 7 years, 7 months old
Issue 2526
Ched Evans (centre)
Ched Evans (centre) (Pic: Jon Candy/flickr)

Footballer Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape last week, following a retrial after his conviction for rape in 2012.

At the retrial his accuser’s sexual history was put before the court and used against her. Former solicitor general Vera Baird said this would discourage women from reporting rape.

Lawyers were banned from questioning women who allege rape in court about their sexual behaviour or history in 1999. Yet the Court of Appeal said that Evans’ case was “exceptional”.

The retrial heard that two men who claimed to have had sex with the accuser gave similar accounts to that of Evans. One said she was a “confident sexual partner”.

Why this should make her immune to rape is unclear.

What this is really about is judging women based on their sexuality and behaviour.

Evans’ supporters had offered £50,000 for information and hired private investigators. Prosecuting barrister Simon Medland QC said this was “akin to a bribe”.

Evans’ girlfriend sent Facebook messages about the reward to a witness in his original trial after Evans’ conviction.

The jury at Evans’ retrial was not told about the messages. The two men who gave evidence at the retrial denied the reward influenced them.

As Evans told police officers, he “could have had any girl” he wanted because “footballers are rich”.

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