THREE men have been arrested as part of the investigation into the naming on Twitter of the victim in the Ched Evans rape case, police said today.
The 23-year-old striker was last week sentenced to five years in jail for the rape of a girl, aged 19 at the time, in a hotel room in North Wales.
He is appealing the conviction – which caused a massive backlash online.
A woman, who Evans was found guilty of raping, was allegedly named on Twitter. She is entitled to anonymity for life by law.
Two men have been arrested under the Section Five of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act and the other is being held on suspicion of malicious communication, police said.
All three are being detained by South Yorkshire Police at Sheffield police station, where they are being interviewed by officers from North Wales Police.
Steve Williams, Detective Chief Inspector of North Wales Police, said: “These arrests were made with the assistance of South Yorkshire Police and are part of a series of planned arrests we will be making during this on-going investigation.”
Evans was jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court last Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman, who was “too drunk to consent”.
Following the conclusion of the trial, the victim of the rape was named and subjected to abuse on Twitter and other websites.
Sheffield United defender Connor Brown has been suspended by the club for comments he made on Twitter following the trial.
The Blades’ reserve-team player responded to Evans’s five-year prison sentence by tweeting various comments in relation to the case and his support for his team-mate.
North Wales Police described the alleged comments on Twitter as “profoundly disturbing” and said they contribute to the young woman’s “continued trauma”.
Rape and other sexual assault victims are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity.
In her evidence, the woman said she has no memory of the incident and the prosecution argued she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
Evans’ co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty.
Evans announced on Tuesday that he would appeal against his conviction.
In a statement posted on Sheffield United’s website, law firm Brabners Chaffe Street said Evans “maintains his innocence” and would be appealing against the jury’s verdict.
See The Star tomorrow for more on this story.