LONDON -- Nine men accused of
repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl
were cleared Thursday after a series of
old Twitter posts by the alleged victim
cast doubt on her claims.
Aged between 21 and 30, the men had
been accused of abusing the teenager
in London over a six-month period last
They had been charged with 28
offences but prosecutors at London's
Old Bailey court dropped the case
after examining a Twitter account
formerly used by the girl.
“The content of the archive tweets,
which were not publicly available, is
such as to render this a case where
there is no realistic prospect of
conviction,” the Daily Mail newspaper
quoted prosecutor Samantha Cohen as
telling the court.
Cohen added that the defendant, who
is now 15, had been "spoken to,"
according the BBC .
The Metro newspaper quoted Judge
John Bevan as saying it was
"unfortunate" that some of the
defendants had been held in custody
since being arrested in a series of
dawn raids in March.In a statement, a Crown Prosecution
Service spokesperson said new
information had arrived before the
trial was due to begin.
"This new material concerned archived
Twitter messages which were not
previously known about and which
undermined the prosecution case," the
spokesperson added. “It was decided
following this review that there was no
longer sufficient evidence for a realistic
prospect of conviction in this case. We
have therefore offered no evidence
against all defendants."