News broke back in 2012, that professional football player Ched Evans had been arrested on a rape charge. It has been today announced that the Court Of Appeal have quashed the conviction.
Evans, who was playing for Sheffield United at the time, admitted to having sex with the 19 year old defendant, but claimed it was consensual. He was charged and subsequently sentenced, with the woman claiming that she was raped at a Premier Inn and was too drunk to consent, telling the jury she had no memory of the incident.
The judges have now heard “fresh evidence” at the appeal between the 22nd and 23rd of March. Lady Justice Hallett said, “In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial.”
“The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape”, was the declaration from the court. Evans’s solicitor Shaun Draycott said, “Ched Evans is extremely grateful that the court of appeal has ruled that his conviction for rape was unsafe and should be quashed.”
With this u-turn in the decision, it brings back up the initial debate surrounding the Ched Evans saga. Was he taking advantage of a young woman, abusing her in the process? Was she taking advantage of his position, making up a story for her own gain?
I guess we will never fully know what happened and have to trust the justice system. What is for sure though, is that rape culture is still an ugly part of society that needs deeper attention.