EVAW responds to acquittal of Ched Evans

Re-trial raises questions around sexual history being used as evidence.

In response to the acquittal of Ched Evans on charges of rape today, Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said:

“We respect the verdict of the jury who heard the prosecution and defence evidence in full.

“We urge all those who comment on this case to remember that many thousands of survivors of rape hear remarks and comments which blame victims all the time. For several years now there has been abuse of the complainant, and of survivors of rape in general, in relation to this case. This has to stop.

“We are very concerned at the precedent which might have been set in this case for allowing sexual history of complainants to be admissible evidence. The rules which prevent this are extremely important and are critical in trying to secure justice in rape cases. 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 CPS and the Government about aspects of this case which raise concern.”

On behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, Ed Beltrami, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales said:

“We respect the decision of the jury today. This case hinged on the issue of sexual consent – that someone consents if they agree by choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Being drunk does not mean a person relinquishes their right to consent, that they are to blame for being attacked or that they were ‘fair game’.

“The prosecution argued that the complainant did not have the capacity to consent, but the jury found they could not be sure, beyond reasonable doubt, that the complainant did not consent, or that Evans thought she was not consenting.

“I would like to thank the complainant for her courage throughout this case, and the previous trial.”

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