Sheffield United striker Ched Evans jailed five years for rape
Sheffield United have said they have made no decision about Evans as yet.

Nine young people have gone on trial for naming the rape victim of footballer Ched Evans on social media.

The alleged offences happened on Twitter and Facebook in the wake of the jailing of the Sheffield United striker, in April. Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old girl in a Rhyl hotel room, despite his denial in court.

Victims of sexual offences cannot be named under law, but Evans' victim was exposed on the hugely popular networking sites.

All nine of the accused are under 30 years old. Three of them - Paul Devine, Daniel Cardwell and Shaun Littler - come from Sheffield, where Evans played. A further five - Holly Price, Benjamin Davies, Gemma Thomas, Dominic Green and Michael Ashton - live in or near to Rhyl, where the offence took place. The other person facing trial is Alexandra Hewitt, from Broughton.

Anonymity for rape victims is important because so few offences make it to trial. An estimated 60,000 cases of rape take place every year, but less than 10 per cent result in trial, according to End Violence Against Women.

Spokesman Sarah Green told IB Times UK: "Experts know that it's often a recidivist offence committed over and again by a small number of men. It's important there is anonymity so that victims are not scared to report it.

"It's important because often it is when a perpetrator is named that other victims come forward. A lot of the problems with these cases arise from very, very deeply held attitudes to sexual violence - specifically about kind of woman gets raped.

"These are held widely in the population, among men and women and victims often hold these views themselves."

Evans is due to begin an appeal iagainst his five-year jail sentence in London on Tuesday 6 November.