Skip to main content

Leading British lawmaker charged with rape

From Lindsay Isaac, CNN
updated 8:01 PM EDT, Tue September 10, 2013
Nigel Evans (pictured in May this year) has been a member of Britain's Parliament since 1992.
Nigel Evans (pictured in May this year) has been a member of Britain's Parliament since 1992.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Nigel Evans resigns as deputy speaker of the House of Commons after charges
  • NEW: He says he'll remain in Parliament to represent his constituents
  • He faces a total of eight counts, including one rape charge, and insists on his innocence
  • He's a member of the ruling Conservative Party, which declined comment

London (CNN) -- The deputy speaker of Britain's House of Commons resigned Tuesday after being charged with a variety of sexual offenses, including rape, in cases dating more than a decade.

Nigel Evans, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, said he would "robustly defend my innocence" when the case goes to trial. But he said he would remain in Parliament, just not in the leadership, to continue to represent his constituents.

"Whilst I am saddened that this case has not been closed today, I am certain of two things: firstly that I am innocent, and secondly that my innocence will be demonstrated," Evans said in a statement.

Evans has been charged with one count of rape, five counts of sexual assault -- a charge involving allegations of intentional, unwanted sexual touching -- and two counts of indecent assault. The eight counts involve a total of seven people, prosecutors said.

All of the victims in the charges are men, prosecutors said in a statement announcing the charges. Evans came out as gay in 2010 and has made a name for himself as a prominent gay rights activist in England.

The investigation began in May, when Evans was arrested and questioned by police after two men in their 20s leveled accusations against him. The charges date back as far as 2002, prosecutors said.

Evans has been a member of Parliament since 1992 and served as the Tories' vice chairman between 1999 and 2001. The Conservatives had no comment on the charges, calling it a police matter.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:42 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT