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Footballer is charged with rape

Sheffield United and Wales footballer Ched Evans has been charged with rape, his lawyers have said.

The 22-year-old was arrested in Rhyl at the end of May for the alleged offence and has since been charged by North Wales Police.

Evans, who has 13 caps for Wales, has been bailed and will appear in court in August. He vehemently denies the charge, his lawyers said.

In a statement released on Sheffield United's official website, the striker's legal representatives said: "We wish to confirm that Ched Evans has this week been charged with an offence of rape by the North Wales Police. Ched has decided voluntarily to make this information public as he wishes to express his extreme shock and disappointment at having been charged with this offence, particularly given the evidence upon which the charge has been brought.

"Ched wishes to place on record that he strenuously denies the charge and will defend it vigorously in order to clear his name. Whilst he unfortunately cannot comment further on the evidence forming the basis of the charge, he is confident that when it is contested before a court by his legal team, he will be acquitted and entirely vindicated.

"No further comment will be made whilst the legal process is ongoing."

An official statement from his club added: "Sheffield United Football Club has been made aware of legal proceedings involving one of its employees. The club will be making no statements on this matter during the course of these proceedings, which have been reported in the national media."

North Wales Police confirmed that Evans and another man will appear in court on August 8.

A spokesman said: "A 22-year-old man from Crewe and a 22-year-old man from Rhyl have both been charged with rape. They were arrested on May 31 on suspicion of rape and were charged on July 26.

"Both men will be appearing before Prestatyn magistrates on August 8."

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