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.