World Cup winner cleared of six rape charges
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty of six charges of rape by a UK court, but must still face a second trial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on further allegations against him.
Mendy, 28, was cleared of raping four women and sexually assaulting another, in a verdict delivered at Chester Crown Court following a six-month trial. However, the jury failed to reach a decision on a charge of raping one woman and attempting to rape another, meaning a retrial will take place. Louis Saha Matturie – described in the media as Mendy’s “fixer” – was also found not guilty of three counts of rape.
Mendy was described as covering his face with his hands after the “not guilty” verdicts were read out. Prosecutors had claimed the footballer was a “predator” who had raped the women during parties at his mansion in Cheshire. Mendy and his friend Matturie had denied all allegations against them. The footballer said his status made it “easy” to pick up women and it was “normal” for him to have lots of partners, but that each of the women had agreed to had sex with him.
The unanimous verdicts were delivered on Wednesday after deliberations by a jury of seven men and four women, but the decision could not be reported until jurors reached a verdict on the remaining two counts – something they could not do. Judge Steven Everett discharged the jury on Friday, and the trial for Mendy on the outstanding allegations is set to begin on June 26.
Mendy was initially arrested in November 2020 and was suspended by Manchester City in August 2021 after being charged with rape. Responding to Friday’s news, the club said it “notes the verdict from Chester Crown Court today.”
“Given there are open matters related to this case, the club is not in a position to comment further at this time,” it added.
Earlier in the trial, the judge had ordered Mendy and Matturie to be found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman after a video appeared showing her having what was described as “enthusiastic and obviously consensual sex” with Matturie.
Mendy had spent time on remand, but his lawyers said on Friday that he was “delighted” to have been cleared of the six rape claims and that he would clear his name on the remaining allegations before “rebuilding” his life.
Mendy moved to Manchester City from Monaco in 2017. He is a three-time Premier League winner with the team, and was part of the France squad that won the World Cup in Russia in 2018.