After Sheffield United soccer player Ched Evans’ conviction last Friday, the name of his sexual assault victim became public on Twitter—a criminal offense.
A number of Twitter users are facing arrest after the rape victim of Sheffield United soccer player Ched Evans was named on the site.
Likewise, British TV channel Sky News is being investigated after it inadvertently displayed the 19-year-old victim’s name during a story on the Twitter scandal.
Evans was found guilty of rape and jailed for five years last week.
“North Wales police will seek to ensure that the legal anonymity of victims in rape cases under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, is protected and those who commit offences in this regard will be brought before the criminal justice system,” said assistant chief constable Gareth Pritchard.
Sky News apologized for displaying the victim’s name. U.K. communications regulator Ofcom said it’s not investigating the incident, claiming it’s a legal matter for the police.
Publishing the name of a sexual assault victim, who has the legal right to anonymity for life, is a criminal offense that carries a fine of up to £5,000.
The victim was identified on Twitter shortly after Evans’s conviction on Friday. Her name was circulated to such a degree on Twitter that it became a trending topic, according to the Telegraph.
Home Secretary Theresa May believes that naming victims in such a way could prevent other victims from reporting the crime.
The mother of the 19-year-old at the center of the Evans case claimed that her daughter had been distraught at losing her anonymity.
“Putting her name on Twitter is just another horrendous ordeal for her and we have been assured the police are going to come down like a ton of bricks on these people,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United have suspended Connor Brown after the reserve team player apparently showed support for Evans. The club is investigating Brown’s tweets, though there’s nothing to suggest that he identified the victim.
Photo by Keith Allison
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