Update October 2016:
After a referral to the court of appeal by the criminal cases review commission, Evans has now been acquitted of the crime of rape. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that situation, in the eyes of the law, Evans is now innocent of the crime of rape. I leave the text below as a record of my thoughts on the case as it stood at the time of writing.
One of the favourite memes of the rape apologists and supporters of rapist Ched Evans is a series of three tweets alleged (only by Evans’ site, supporters and family) to have been tweeted by his victim in between the rape and the trial. The so called “win big” tweets.
The tweets are totally irrelevant to the case – here is why.
If we believe the tweets existed at all, and are not a total fabrication, it is claimed they were unearthed by a New York firefighter from a text google cache on the French twitter server. A New York Firefighter. Not a forensic computer scientist, just someone on the net looking through google cache files. There are at least two ways they may have been faked.
The Firefighter himself could have fabricated the whole thing – either on his own or at the request of Evan’s supporters.
One of the very many rape apologists abusing the victim and supporting Evans could have easily created an account using the victim’s name, and made the tweets – ensuring they were cached, and then deleted the account. Note that without support of twitter themselves, it is not possible to verifiably link tweets to an individual.
Even if the tweets were made by the victim as alleged, they are still completely irrelevant to the case.
They make no reference to the case, and discuss only the possibility of a big win. Just about every person who has ever played the horses, or the lottery etc will have had similar conversations, including yours truly. And what more natural time to dream of something good happening than in the aftermath of an awful life changing event, and subsequent build up to a trial.
One of the “damning” aspects of the tweets in the minds of the apologists, is that they were deleted. In fact the whole account was deleted. This is entirely unsurprising, given the way the victim has been bullied and threatened all over the internet eventually being forced to move home and change ID. No wonder that she felt she needed to delete her account. I would have done the same – in fact I have deleted the first 3000 tweets I made, due to a stalker.
The alleged tweets were made after the rape. The key fact of the case is that it was proven in court that the victim was too drunk to consent to sex. The evidence that proved this is not changed one tiny little bit by the tweets – whether or not they exist, and whatever their meaning. They do not change the fact that she was raped.
The tweets real or not, mean nothing.