In the United Kingdom, rape victims have a legal right to lifetime anonymity. So British authorities were disturbed to see that one alleged rape victim's name had become a trending topic on Twitter.
Ched Evans, a soccer player for Sheffield United, was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman on Friday. He has been sentenced to five years in prison, BBC News reported. Evans had admitted to having sex with the woman but said that the act was consensual. The woman, however, charged that she had no memory of the sex because she was passed out from drinking. She believes that her drink was spiked, according to Metro UK. The court agreed that the woman was "too drunk to consent," the Press Association reported.
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Following the conviction, the woman was then attacked online. Sheffield United player Connor Brown took to Twitter to insult the woman, describing her as a "money grabbing little tramp," the Daily Mail reported.
Dozens of other Twitter users then openly named the victim, The Daily Telegraph reported. And a newscaster for Sky News inadvertently published the woman's name when reporting on the story, according to the Telegraph. The woman's name became a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend.
“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," the victim's mother told the Telegraph.
The North Wales Police announced today that three men have been arrested in relation to the Twitter controversy, although they did not name who the arrested men were. Two men have been arrested for possibly violating the Sexual Offenses Amendments Act and another was arrested on suspicion of malicious communication, according to the police statement.
Sheffield United has also launched an internal investigation about Brown's comments, according to the Telegraph.