British footballer Ched Evans cleared of rape charges, following retrial. Feminists furious
I thought from the beginning that the conviction was a monstrous injustice so I am pleased that justice has finally been done. It took a British court to convert consensual sex into rape. The Crown Prosecutors stretched the law in order to appease feminists with a high profile conviction. Feminists had been complaining that there were "not enough" rape convictions. Evans is the victim of feminist hate
The many who condemned and shunned Evans will have egg on their faces for a long time
According to the original prosecution, Yes means Yes and No means No -- except when you are Ched Evans
The woman concerned DID say Yes to him and made no complaint afterwards but a badly instructed British jury in its stratospheric wisdom decided that Evans should have taken Yes to mean No. She was too drunk to give consent, apparently. Though how they know that and what is the relevant metric of drunkenness in those circumstances remains uncertain. How was Evans to know the woman was too drunk to give consent? There are no standards for how drunk a woman can be before being unable to consent.
So it is a relief that the British justice system has now got it right -- after Evans spent over two years in jail. According to the original verdict, sex with women who drink must be harshly discouraged. If that pompous dictum were taken seriously among the population at large, it would at least halve the British birthrate, I would think. Alcohol and sex have a long history together, even among married people.
And the Yes means Yes mantra is a typically stupid feminist invention anyway. There are many men who can attest that sometimes No means Yes. I was always too impatient to play that game myself (apparently to some confusion) but it is a common one where the woman is embarrassed, shy etc. Many women would think less of themselves if they said "Yes" straight away. The woman would think that she was appearing "too easy". So men do sometimes have to decide whether a No really means Yes and they can obviously make the occasional mistake there, particularly if they are not too bright.
So one can only hope that the feminist mantra, Yes means Yes, is vigorously preached to women too so that they will be less evasive and less confusing to men. I am not holding my breath.
Some of the feminist comments below are very disturbuing. Discovering the truth can be wrong: Better for an innocent man to remain wrongly convicted, apparently
International footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of the rape of a 19-year-old woman, but the decision to allow the jury to hear the sexual history of the complainant has sparked outrage from women’s support groups and campaigners.
As Evans was acquitted of rape at a retrial on Friday, five years after having sex with the woman in a hotel room, activists expressed the fear that an earlier appeal court ruling which allowed the complainant’s sexual behaviour to be taken into account by the jury would set a dangerous precedent, and could put off women from coming forward to report sexual offences.
The appeal court judgment – made before the retrial but which can only now be reported – allowed in new evidence from two witnesses who gave testimony about the complainant’s sexual preferences and the language she used during sex. It led to her being questioned in detail in open court about intimate details of her sex life.
Evans, who has played for Wales and Sheffield United and was a member of the Manchester City youth set-up, spent two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of raping the young woman following a drunken night out in his home town of Rhyl, north Wales.
Following his conviction, a well-funded legal and PR campaign that included the offer of a £50,000 reward for information leading to his acquittal was launched by family and friends. The campaign eventually resulted in the case going to the court of appeal in London and his conviction was quashed.
After an eight-day trial, a jury at Cardiff crown court took two hours to acquit Evans. He kept his head down as the male foreman returned the unanimous verdict. Evans then rushed from the dock into the arms of his girlfriend, Natasha Massey. They held each other for a minute and sobbed on each other’s shoulders.
In a statement read outside the court by his solicitor, Shaun Draycott, Evans said he was “overwhelmed with relief”. He thanked his friends and family, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour”.
The statement concluded: “Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”
A spokesman for Evans said he would now return to football – though he is currently nursing an injury. He may be able to sue for lost earnings, which would total millions of pounds.
Chesterfield, his current club, welcomed the verdict. Chief executive Chris Turner said: “We can now all move forward and focus on football.”
It can now be revealed that:
During the appeal case that led to the retrial, lawyers for the crown suggested the two new witnesses may have been “fed” information by those close to Evans. This claim was rejected by Evans’s side and by the appeal court.
The appeal court judges expressed “a considerable degree of hesitation” before allowing in the new evidence of the former partners because it would result in the complainant’s sexual behaviour being subject to forensic scrutiny.
Evans’ girlfriend, Massey, was accused in legal argument during the second trial of offering an “inducement” to a key witness. The prosecution said this had “the flavour of a bribe”. The trial judge disagreed.
The woman told the jury she woke up naked in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011 with no memory of what had happened but fearing her drinks were spiked.
Friends encouraged her to go to the police and officers found out that the room in which she woke up had been booked and paid for by Evans. He was questioned, and both he and his friend and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald said they had consensual sex with the woman.
The prosecution said she could not possibly have consented as she was too intoxicated. She has never alleged Evans or McDonald raped her.
In court, Evans admitted he lied to get the key for the hotel room and did not speak to the woman before, during or after sex. He left via a fire exit. It also emerged that Evans’ younger brother and another man were trying to film what was happening from outside the room.
Lisa Longstaff, of the group Women against Rape, said the case seemed a “throwback to another time”. Section 41 of the Youth and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 puts restrictions on what evidence can be put before a court by the defence about an alleged victim’s sexual behaviour and questioning of the complainant.
“But it has exceptions, and clever lawyers can get round it,” said Longstaff. “Here they’ve driven a coach and horses through the supposed protection.”
Vera Baird, the barrister, women’s rights campaigner and police and crime commissioner, said the appeal court decision would “go down as a precedent that will be used and abused”. She said the exception used by Evans’ team was originally specifically about instances of sexual activity that happened “at or about the same time”, such as during sex parties.
One of the new witnesses said he had sex with the complainant on the same bank holiday weekend as the hotel incident; the second said they had sex a fortnight later. A feminist activist who goes by the pseudonym Jean Hatchet and was behind petitions asking football clubs not to sign Evans following his jail term, told the Guardian it was “deeply worrying” that evidence about a victim’s sexual history had been permitted.
She said: “This will set a precedent in rape cases to follow where defence barristers will comb through an alleged victim’s sexual past and following the alleged assault at a time when they are suffering trauma.”
Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “We are very concerned at the precedent which might have been set.
“In addition to this there are reports that the defence offered a ‘bounty’ for such testimony. This is extremely worrying. We will review the case in full and may contact the Crown Prosecution Service and the government about aspects of this case which raise concern.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “There is a big risk that this case overall has a negative impact on reporting. Only this week CPS figures revealed a quarter of women are not pursuing cases. If you look at the surrounding maelstrom about this case it’s easy to see why that is the case.
“A woman’s past sexual history bears no relevance on whether or not they have been a victim of rape. There is a need to challenge pervasive cultural assumptions that equate a woman’s former sexual history with her likelihood of being a victim of rape.”
Police reminded people that naming the complainant was a criminal offence. Supt Jo Williams, of north Wales police, said: “We are aware that once again the victim has been named on social media. An investigation is ongoing.
“People need to be aware that they could find themselves being arrested and prosecuted. This was done previously, people were prosecuted and heavily fined.”