Update 2: Jonny Evans out on bail, Manchester United say that Jonny Evans is innocent and is cooperating with the police to clear his name.
Update: The Sun reports that 19-year old Manchester United player Jonny Evans has turned himself in to the police and is now being questioned with regard to the rape claim at the Manchester United Christmas part that happened on Monday night.
At this point other leading news agencies are not naming anyone but just repeating what the police have told them – i.e. that they have a 19-year-old man in custody who turned himself in and is being questioned.
The hotel has now been re-opened, and personally I think the police and the club will make a statement today.
Police are investigating a sex attack allegation after a 26-year old woman claimed she was raped at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester.
Police were called to the hotel at 4.15am this morning after receiving a 999 call, according to reports.
No arrests have been made and Greater Manchester police said inquiries were continuing. Plain clothes officers visited the hotel this morning to quiz staff about the party.
A sign outside the venue reads: “Please note the hotel will be closed until further notice. Thank you for your co-operation.”
A spokesperson for the hotel, where rooms cost between £235 and £395 per night, said: “I can’t confirm anything. I can only say that we are helping the police with their enquiries.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester police said: “Police are currently investigating a report of rape at a hotel in Manchester city centre. At about 4.15am on Tuesday 18 December 2007, police were called to the hotel on Great John Street to a report that a 26-year-old woman had been raped. Inquiries are continuing.”
Not much of a story, IMO. Happens far more often than we’d like to admit although the fact that the hotel and the police are taking it so seriously suggests that there is something substantial to go on right?
Nope – the only reason the hotel and the police are taking this so seriously is because the 35-room hotel was booked for the night for a Christmas party that was attended by Manchester United players, many of their friends and many, many girls.
The Sun has this quote from a source from within the party:
“I spoke to one stunner who’d come up from London and another who’d travelled from Newcastle. They were gorgeous – most were aged between 18 and 30. And some of them were throwing themselves at the players.
The booze was really flowing – waitresses were handing out pink champagne to whoever wanted it. And the players seemed to be knocking back beer, vodka and whiskey.
I can’t believe this has happened because it had been such a great party earlier in the evening.
Rooney and Rio spent most of the night on the dance floor – but Ryan Giggs stole the show when he did an Elvis Presley impression. He turned his collar up and started doing a mime to one of his songs – everyone formed a circle around him and started clapping.
It was wall-to-wall babes. Some of the girls were absolute knock-outs.”
Manchester United have declined to comment on the matter – but of course they would until the truth about the whole matter has been discovered. Manchester United have nothing to hide and while it will be of some concern that their players have been unfairly besmirched with allegations of rape, if any player has a confirmed role in this alleged incident then the club will deal with him accordingly.
When I first read this news I was angry at the unspoken implication that there was a Manchester United player involved, and that Manchester United players were now going to get a bad rep because the press is somehow turning “having a good time when you’re not training” into “not serious about their football”. You work hard, you play hard, and you get the job done where it matters, whether it’s on the pitch, on the dance floor or at home.
I’ll update this page as I get more info on the story, but for now, please remember that we fans are limited by the information highlighted to us by the media. In this case the spotlight is – for the wrong reasons – on Manchester United players’ partying and the unfair (and untrue) implication that they’re not committed to their football. This is NOT about football – it could be about some glory-hunter’s 15 minutes of fame, or it could be a tragic incident of some drunk bastard taking advantage of the situation. Let’s not bring football into this.
Then again, I don’t expect any football fan to be rational…