Blame rests on rapist’s shoulders

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I am disgusted.

Every woman should be after hearing the fallout - some of it vile, some of it simply ill-judged - from the rape conviction of Ched Evans.

There are people lamenting a soccer star’s tragic downfall. A lad who had it all, now sitting in a cell at the age of 23; what a waste, they say.

There are others complaining the girl, or the amount of alcohol she had drunk before her fateful encounter last May, was to blame.

Wrong, wrong, all sickeningly wrong; the blame rests solely on Ched’s athletic shoulders, now hunched in a prison uniform. That night in a Welsh hotel bedroom, he was incapable of curbing his sexual instinct and behaving towards a vulnerable woman with any common human decency.

He broke her and he broke the law and he didn’t care.

And the real tragedy is that the life of a 19-year-old girl has been ruined.

People are saying, though, it was her word against his. Consent or no consent - that this is all every rape case boils down to and that consequently a vindictive woman can simply lie her way to a man’s imprisonment.

They overlook the fact that it can also mean a guilty man can simply lie his way out of it, too. And that any case that goes before a court is based on a wealth of evidence painstakingly gathered by police.

At Evans’ trial, the prosecution claimed the girl was incapable of giving consent because she was too drunk. Why would anyone find a semi- conscious woman a turn-on? That surely should make any decent person revile this man even more.

Yet to some, it was the perfect excuse - because she was drunk she wasn’t taking care of herself.

Why should she have to? Men are not wild animals and they cannot behave like one. Homing in on hapless prey; that’s what a jury has decided Evans did.

Alcohol makes people vulnerable, not culpable. The girl was unable to defend herself when he let himself into the hotel bedroom where she was engaged in sex with his friend Clayton McDonald, cleared of the rape charge.

Evans saw an opportunity to have sex and he took it. He didn’t care about the girl; she was just a piece of vodka-marinated meat to him. And anyway, he was a footballer.

Evans had boasted to police after his arrest that he and McDonald “could have had any girl” they wanted at a nightclub that night.

He told them: “It’s not uncommon we pick up girls. We are footballers, that’s how it is. Footballers are rich, that’s what the girls like.”

Everything that is bad about today’s soccer stars is summed up in those words.

Maybe you will say there must be something deep in a young man’s psyche that turns him into a sexual predator capable of viewing a barely conscious woman as a turn-on.

The self-belief, the glory, the pay; it turned this young lad into an egotistical, amoral monster who thought he was way better than the girl on the bed, and way above the law and society’s code of decency.

What are the clubs doing to prevent that and keep heads as well as feet on the ground? The league has to act.

Fans need to look at their own behaviour, too. Many saw the trial as either a plus or a minus for their team’s chances of league promotion. Blades were hoping he would be freed to score a few vital goals in their last two matches. Owls were praying Evans would be jailed.

Shame on them all.

To all of the disbelievers, the Ched supporters, those more bothered about their football team than a girl’s suffering, I say this; that 19-year-old victim... Imagine if she was your daughter. Or sister. Or your girlfriend.

How much would it hurt to find out that the animal who made your precious girl feel dirty and violated and broken is a rich young footballer who then tries to blame her?

It gets worse; he’s found guilty, but still there are people saying she’s a drunken slag who asked for it, or she’s a liar trying to cover up her shame.

And then they talk of a golden future, ruined. Not hers, though; they haven’t even thought about that. It’s the rapist’s; because he’s a footballer.