More held after rape victim allegedly named on Twitter

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Four more men have been arrested in connection with the alleged naming on Twitter of the victim in footballer Ched Evans’ rape case.

Seventeen arrests have now been made in the investigation, with more planned, North Wales Police said.

The four men, aged between 19 and 30, were arrested and questioned in the Sheffield area on Tuesday. They were bailed to return to a police station in North Wales in early July.

One man was arrested on suspicion of malicious communication, another on suspicion of malicious communication and under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act.

The other two were arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sheffield United and Wales 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.

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

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.

Gareth Pritchard, assistant chief constable of North Wales Police, said: “North Wales Police will seek to ensure that the legal anonymity of victims in rape cases under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, is protected and those who commit offences in this regard will be brought before the criminal justice system.”

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 after the trial.

Nearly 23,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Evans to be removed from an end-of-season honours list.

He was included in the Professional Footballers’ Association League One team of the year.

The petition, which has 22,776 signatures, was started by teacher Leo Hardt, on the website He said the footballer’s inclusion on the team sends out a “very troubling message”.