Clayton McDonald. That is the name of the other footballer who, along with the now infamously convicted Ched Evans, was accused of rape back in 2011.
For those who do not know, McDonald and Evans both stood trial for rape after being accused by a young woman who claims to have had no recollection of having had sex with either man. The girl, who was nineteen at the time, was by all accounts, so inebriated that she could just about stand. The story is that McDonald met the girl and they went back to his hotel room where, according to him, she initiated sex. He had whilst travelling back to the hotel, text Evans, a friend of over a decade, and told him he had a girl back at the hotel. Evans went to the hotel and let himself into the room, watching as McDonald and the girl had sex. He then asked to get involved. Apparently, the girl said yes. McDonald, having finished, left Evans and the girl in the room. He went to reception and asked that someone make sure that the girl got home okay. Evans finished having sex and left the girl in the room. Two weeks later, both men found themselves facing rape allegations.
This story would be great drama if it was not so stupid, destructive and sad. It involves all the elements for an explosive cocktail and then some; alcohol, sex, attractive youths and, possibly the most relevant, no thought of consequence.
Both men say the girl did not seem overly drunk, not so drunk as to have no idea what was going on anyway. Eyewitnesses say she was very drunk. Slurring her words, seen falling over, unsteady on her feet. Both the men were, are, professional sportsmen; fit, well off, not bad looking men, who probably would not struggle for female company.
McDonald must have thought he had got lucky when he met a pretty young woman, a little worse for wear, but up for a good time. Such encounters happen all across the land of a weekend. Poor decision time. In the taxi back to his hotel, he texts Evans. Why? Never a person to…..share a woman myself, this absolutely perplexes me. Also, did the fact that she was not curious as to who he would be texting, not tip him off to the fact that she might not be completely lucid?
They arrived back at the hotel. Meanwhile, poor decision time for Evans. Why, as he was in a relationship at the time, did he leave his home and go over to the hotel? He had not been out and met the girl, he left his home on the off chance he might get lucky. Or highly unlucky, as it turned out. Was he so sex starved that he needed to go and see what sort of a ‘bird’ his good friend had?
Poor decision time continued apace: Having both had sex with the girl, they leave her in the hotel room. Really? They just left her in a hotel room, she had not rented, or was staying in. It never occurred to either one of them that it might be wrong? McDonald had left before, going wherever and Evans sneaked out of a fire exit, compounding his guilt – he did not want his girlfriend to find out. That’s worked out well…! – so this girl wakes up in a strange room with no clothes on…..!
The fact of the matter is, the only people who can be absolutely positive of what happened that fateful night are; a girl who’s identity remains a necessary secret, even if the Internet has thrown her life into turmoil. A now struggling to regain his career, footballer and a convicted rapist. Three young people whose lives are forever changed and darkened by one evening of poor decisions.