Footballer Ched Evans says he'll never apologise to woman who accused him of rape

Football player Ched Evans, right, and his partner Natasha Massey. Photo / AP
Football player Ched Evans, right, and his partner Natasha Massey. Photo / AP

Footballer Ched Evans says he will never apologise to the woman who accused him of rape but says he "disassociates" himself from anyone who names or abuses her.

The 27-year-old footballer was cleared on Friday of raping the 19-year-old woman in a hotel room after a five-year fight to clear his name.

He was originally convicted of the crime in 2012 and served a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence before the court of appeal agreed to a retrial due to new information.

The woman, who cannot remember the night of the incident, has been forced to change her name five times after receiving multiple death threats on social media.

North Wales Police are investigating fresh threats against her and a number of individuals who have named her on Twitter, which is against the law due to her being afforded lifelong anonymity as the complainant in a sex assault case.

Last night Mr Evans admitted he had been "young and stupid" at the time of the incident.

"I have maintained my innocence from day one, so I can never apologise directly for what happened," he told the Mail On Sunday.

"I think it was a situation that got taken out of our hands from an early stage. She never said anybody raped her. She said she had a blackout but that didn't mean, like it was said in court, that she didn't consent."

The prosecution's case is that girl was unable to consent due to her level of intoxication.

Writing on Chedevans.com, he said: "I absolutely disassociate myself from anyone who names on any forum the woman in this case. Or makes any offensive comments about her.

"Everyone associated with the past five years now has the right to move on with their lives and I wish no ill will to anybody."

In a rare move the court allowed the jury to hear about the girl's sexual past.

Her father said: "It was like she was the one on trial - not the person accused of committing the crime.

"His sexual history wasn't brought up. They might as well have just said my daughter was asking for it. I feel as if there was a rape committed in that court by those lawyers who went through my daughter's sexual history. As a father I felt really sickened."

On Saturday Vera Baird, police and crime commissioner for Northumbria and former solicitor general, said British law had gone back 30 years.

"The only difference between a clear conviction of Mr Evans in 2012 and the absolute refusal of him having any leave to appeal at that time, and his acquittal now, is that he has called some men to throw discredit on [the woman's] sexual reputation," she said.

"That, I think, is pouring prejudice, which is exactly what used to happen before the law in 1999 stopped the admission of previous sexual history in order to show consent.

"We've gone back, I'm afraid, probably about 30 years."

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 Mar 2017 16:22:00 Processing Time: 626ms