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Ched Evans found not guilty of rape

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Footballer Ched Evans has been cleared of the rape of a 19-year-old woman.

The 27-year-old Chesterfield striker was originally accused of attacking the woman at a Premier Inn in Denbighshire, Wales on 30 May 2011. He was found guilty of rape in 2012 and sentenced to five years in prison.

However, his conviction was appealed in April of this year and he was today found not guilty of the charge in Cardiff Crown Court. It took a jury of seven women and five men just two hours to clear him, following a two week trial.

Evans had already been released from prison in October 2014, after serving half of his sentence, before his case was referred to the Court of Appeal in October 2015. Evans then won his appeal against his conviction in April before being cleared of rape at the retrial today.

Judges let Evans appeal his conviction after controversially allowing two former partners of the alleged victim to reveal explicit details about her sex life in court. 

Ched Evans and Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court

Ched Evans and Natasha Massey arrive at Cardiff Crown Court

Evans and his girlfriend Natasha Massey (above), who have a nine-month-old son together, have always protested his innocence.

Evans released a statement after the verdict, in which he said he was "overwhelmed with relief" and "wholeheartedly apologised to anyone who may have been affected by the events on the night in question".

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