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Police raid British pol's office after rape charge

  |   May 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM
LONDON, May 20 (UPI) -- British police said they searched parliamentary offices of the House of Commons deputy speaker after allegations he sexually assaulted three men.

Nigel Evans, the Conservative MP from Ribble Valley who holds the leadership post, denied accusations by two individuals made May 4 that he raped one of the men and sexually assaulted another.

In the days following, a third individual came forward and said he, too, had been assaulted by Evans, who came out as gay in 2010.

Police from Lancashire, Evans' home county and where the actions allegedly took place, have arrested Evans. The Guardian said police confirmed a search warrant was executed at Evans' office in London Monday but officials declined to comment further.

"Police can confirm they have searched offices in London in connection with the investigation," a spokesman said. "It would be inappropriate to comment further, other than to say we have gone through all the appropriate and necessary procedures before taking this step."

In a statement made after the allegations surfaced, Evans denied any wrongdoing and said he had considered the two men who made the stunning charges friends, one of whom he'd socialized with just days before the charges were filed.

"The allegations are completely false and I can't understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialize with one as recently as last week," he said earlier this month. "I appreciate the way the police have handled this in such a sensitive manner, and I'd like to thank my colleagues, friends and members of the public who have expressed their support and -- like me -- a sense of incredulity at these events."

Evans has maintained his title as deputy speaker but party leaders have said he won't carry out any of the office's duties during the investigation.

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