Footballer Benjamin Mendy not guilty of six rapes, but will be retried for a seventh

After five months of trial, the French international footballer Benjamin Mendy was found not guilty of six rapes and a sexual assault on Friday January 13 by British justice. However, he will be retried on two charges, for which the jury did not reach a verdict.

Suspended for over a year

After fourteen days of deliberation, jurors in Chester (northern England) acquitted him of six rapes and one sexual assault on four women. But they failed to agree on a verdict on two other charges, one for rape of a 24-year-old woman in October 2020 and one for attempted rape of a 29-year-old woman in 2018.

Benjamin Mendy, world champion in 2018, will thus be retried for two to three weeks from June 26 for these charges, announced judge Steven Everett. A procedural hearing is scheduled for January 27. The defender, suspended for more than a year by his club Manchester City, had appeared since early August. Accused of seven rapes, an attempted rape and a sexual assault, he risked life imprisonment.

His co-accused Louis Saha Matturie (unrelated to former footballer Louis Saha), presented as his tout, was found not guilty of three rape charges, and the jury did not reach a verdict on three other charges of rape and three of sexual assault.

Deliberate several times interrupted

After four months of hearings, the jury, made up of eight men and four women, retired to deliberate on December 5, but talks were halted several times due to Covid-19 cases and then for a scheduled break. for a long time, before a truce during the holiday season.

In court, the prosecution presented Benjamin Mendy as a “predator” having abused victims “vulnerable, terrified and isolated”. The footballer denied having been “a danger for women”, claiming to have had only consensual sex. The Manchester club took note of Friday’s verdict, but felt it was not “unable to comment further” as long as this case is not closed.

Four months in pre-trial detention

Winner of the 2018 World Cup with the France team, where he was a substitute, Benjamin Mendy was imprisoned at the end of August 2021 and spent more than four months in pre-trial detention. Released in early January 2022, he was placed under judicial supervision pending trial.

Trained in Le Havre, revealed in Marseille and passed through Monaco, Benjamin Mendy became the most expensive defender in history in 2017, when the Citizens paid 52 million pounds (about 61.4 million euros at current price) to secure his services.



Pelé, legendary footballer and man of faith

When the magazine France Soccer came to meet him in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 1999 to interview him on his title of “player of the century”, the journalists discovered above Pelé’s desk an image of the smiling Christ. “I imagined myself very young, already, a divine force, smiling and not nailed to a cross, grimacing in pain and with arms spread apart, he explains to them. I prefer it that way. It corresponds better to my philosophy of life and religion. »

“He was a man of faith”

Throughout his life and career, the native of Três Corações – a town so named because of the chapel around which it was formed – thanked God for what he brought to him, including his talent. with the round ball. “God gave me the gift of knowing how to play football”he assured L’Osservatore Romano in 2009.

His Catholic faith, he inherits it from his very pious family. A faith that he did not hesitate to assume throughout his life. “Pelé kept repeating the word ‘God’. He was a man of faith.” supports Bernard Rajzman, a former professional volleyball player and his predecessor as Brazilian sports minister, in L’Osservatore Romano at the announcement of his death.

Sometimes, his way of talking about religion or comparing himself to God could reflect a certain form of arrogance. For example, he liked to repeat that he was “better known than Jesus”. In 2004, in an interview titled “And God Created Pelé” for the Guardianhe told : “We have millions and millions of people in the world, and we have a Beethoven, a Bach, a Michelangelo and a Pelé. It is a gift from God. »

Exchanges with three popes

During his life, Pelé met three popes. First Paul VI, with his wife at the time, Rosemeri do Reis Cholbi, in 1966. The pope would have said to him at that time: “Don’t be nervous, my son. I’m more nervous than you. I have been waiting to meet Pelé personally for a long time. » From this interview, the one who is nicknamed the “king” retains “something from another world”.

He then visited John Paul II at the Vatican on March 18, 1987, to whom he brought an image of Christ the Redeemer from Rio de Janeiro. Pelé meets Benedict XVI on August 20, 2005, on the occasion of World Youth Day in Cologne (Germany).

Of these three meetings, Pelé will tell L’Osservatore Romano : “I consider myself a very lucky man. (…) With these three pontiffs, I was able to talk about life and about God, these were very important moments for me. They stayed in my heart. »

On the other hand, he never had the opportunity to meet the Argentine Pope Francis, yet a football lover. The only link between the two men is a Brazil national team jersey, presented in 2014 by then Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Pelé had soberly signed it: “To Pope Francis, with respect and admiration. »

His faith guided him to the end of his life. He was still talking about his 82e and last anniversary, in October, as of a ” gift from God “. He added: “I hope we continue a lot of time together and, God willing, another 82 would be good. » Pelé finally died on December 29. On the death of Argentinian Diego Maradona, another footballing legend, in November 2020, Pelé said: “One day, I hope we will play together in paradise. »



Accused of rape, footballer Benjamin Mendy in court in the United Kingdom

The trial of world football champion Benjamin Mendy, accused of eight rapes, an attempted rape and a sexual assault, opens Wednesday August 10 for more than three months in Chester in the north-west of England.

The 28-year-old French footballer, suspended for a year by Manchester City, is accused by seven women and denies the ten charges which relate to facts which allegedly took place between October 2018 and August 2021 at his home in Prestbury, in Cheshire.

A trial supposed to last at least fifteen weeks

He is on trial alongside another man, Louis Saha Matturie (unrelated to former footballer Louis Saha), prosecuted on his side for eight rapes and four sexual assaults on eight women between July 2012 and August 2021. The latter has also pleaded not guilty.

Their trial was originally scheduled to open on July 25 but was postponed for two weeks. It is scheduled to last fifteen weeks, according to the court.

The first days of this long-term trial must be devoted to choosing the jurors and organizing the hearings.

Suspended by Manchester City since the start of the case

Winner of the 2018 World Cup with the France team, where he played the role of good comrade if not one of the key players, Benjamin Mendy left the lawns for almost a year for the bench of the defendants and the cells of Liverpool and Manchester prisons, where he spent more than four months, from August 2021 to January 2022, in pre-trial detention. Released in early January, he was placed under judicial supervision pending trial.

Mendy has not played a single football match since August 15, 2021 with his Manchester City club, which suspended him when the case started.

Trained in Le Havre, revealed in Marseille and spent a season with Monaco, Benjamin Mendy became the most expensive defender in history in 2017 when the Citizens paid 52 million pounds (about 61.4 million euros at the current price). ) to secure his services.

A career punctuated by hopes, never really justified

When he arrived at City, he was considered one of the great French and world prospects at left-back. But his career has been hampered for four years by injuries and he has never really lived up to the expectations placed on him.

During the epic of the Blues in Russia in 2018, he sends back the image of the teaser always ready to turn on his portable speakers and play the role of DJ in the bus or the locker room, to start a dance à la celebrating the slightest goal of his teammates or multiplying “stories” on Instagram.

Benjamin Mendy’s trial opens two days after that of Welshman and former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs, 48, accused of assaulting his girlfriend.



French footballer Benjamin Mendy accused of rape and suspended by his club

The French international defender of Manchester City Benjamin Mendy, 27, accused of four rapes and one sexual assault, was remanded in custody, the British justice ruled on Friday August 27.

Wearing black sweatpants and a red hoodie, Benjamin Mendy appeared before a court in Chester (north-west of England) where the judge decided his remand in custody. The footballer only spoke to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

The facts, denounced by three people over 16, said the police in their press release, would have taken place between October 2020 and August 2021.

A few minutes before the police announced the subject of the complaint, the Manchester City club, where he has played since 2017, announced the player’s suspension, without revealing the subject of the investigation of which he was the target. “Manchester City can confirm that after his indictment by the police today, Benjamin Mendy was suspended for the duration of the investigation”, write the Citizens in a press release.

“The case is the subject of legal proceedings and the club cannot, for this reason, make any further comments, until it is completed”, adds the Mancunian club.

Recruited for nearly 60 million euros

To recruit Mendy, revealed in Marseille and spent only one season by Monaco, City had spent 52 million pounds (nearly 60 million EUR), making at the time of the young French left-back the most expensive defender in history.

But his career has since been punctuated by injuries, like his cruciate ligament rupture in 2017, forcing Mendy to spend more time treating his knees and muscle ailments than kicking a ball. The French international (10 caps), has only played 75 matches with City over the last four seasons, including that of the first day against Tottenham, lost 1 to 0.

He had also delighted the tabloids when his Lamborghini Aventador SVJ was seized with a value of more than 500,000 euros in the fall of 2020, which he was driving without a license or insurance. He finally pleaded guilty and was fined just over 1,000 euros.