FILES) In this file photo taken on November 11, 2019 France’s defender Benjamin Mendy arrives at the French national football team training base in Clairefontaine en Yvelines, as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming qualification Euro-2020 football matches against Moladavia and Albania. – Manchester City and France international footballer Benjamin Mendy, who has been charged with seven counts of rape, was on January 7, 2022, freed on bail by a court in northwest England. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
Manchester City player, Benjamin Mendy, has been found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.
The prosecution sought a retrial on those counts and it has been scheduled for 26 June. Louis Saha Matturie, 41, was also found not guilty of three counts of rape.
Jurors failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against him.
Mendy and his friend, Matturie had been accused of raping women at the player’s home in Prestbury, Cheshire, and at a Manchester flat. Prosecutors told the jury Mendy was a “predator” who turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game.
But jurors were also told by defence lawyers that while the trial, involving money, sex and celebrity, had “all the makings of a good drama”, it came with a significant “plot twist” – that the accused were innocent.
Mendy covered his face with both hands as the jury foreman repeated “not guilty” to the six counts, which related to four young women or teenagers.
The unanimous verdicts were delivered by the seven men and four women on the jury, one juror having been discharged earlier for medical reasons.
The verdicts could not be reported until jurors concluded considering the remaining two counts, after they were given a majority direction by Judge Steven Everett, meaning he would accept a 10-1 majority on any verdict. Culled from BBCSports