Benjamin Mendy has been acquitted of six counts of rape and sexual assault

Benjamin Mendy was acquitted today of sexually assaulting four women – although the jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other counts.

Sitting in the dock at Chester Crown Court, the 28-year-old Man City star covered his face with both hands and rocked gently while the jury foreman, who announced the verdicts in a silent courtroom, repeated, being “not guilty” to six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault involving four young women or teenagers.

However, the jury could not reach a verdict on another rape and attempted sexual assault – allegedly at Mendy’s £4.7million mansion in Prestbury, Cheshire.

Louis Saha Matturie, 41, his co-defendant and alleged “fixer,” was found not guilty by the jury in three counts of rape involving two teenagers. The jury also failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against him by five other women.

Manchester City star Benjamin Mendy, 28, is due to appear in court in December

Manchester City star Benjamin Mendy, 28, is due to appear in court in December

The unanimous verdicts were announced today by the seven men and four women jury, with one juror previously dismissed on medical grounds.

A Man City spokesman said: “We note today’s ruling from Chester Crown Court, where a jury found Benjamin Mendy not guilty of seven counts. The jury is hung on two counts and the trial is now closed.

“With matters outstanding in relation to this case, the club are unable to comment further at this time.”

Judge Steven Everett thanked the jury and pardoned them for seven years of jury duty.

Matthew Conway, prosecutor, said prosecutors would seek a retrial on charges the jury was unable to reach a verdict on.

He said: “The prosecutor’s office has made a decision. We made a decision today to proceed with these charges in two separate trials and we are seeking preliminary case management today.’

Lawyers are discussing dates for future hearings and a possible trial in June.

The trial, which was due to begin last January, lasted almost six months, with a jury of eight men and four women hearing a series of sex crime allegations against 13 original applicants.

The allegations and trial had been “absolute hell” for Mendy, the court heard, and his life in football “is over” as he would “never escape” the allegations.

Mendy had been accused of being a “predator” who turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game, hearing his trial sip champagne in VIP areas of Manchester nightclubs, before stalking young women at “after-parties” in invited “toxic and dangerous” situations” at his £4.7million Cheshire mansion in Mottram St Andrew, near Prestbury.

Timothy Cray KC, prosecutor, said Matturie, known as Saha, was Mendy’s “boyfriend and fixer” and used a £2,000-a-month rented flat in Salford to host parties. Mendy also paid him £17,000 for his services over the course of a year.

Friend and'fixer' Louis Saha Matturie, 46, - seen in court yesterday

Friend and ‘fixer’ Louis Saha Matturie, 46, – seen in court yesterday

Mr Cray said Saha Matturie’s job is to find young women for Mendy and “create situations where they could be raped and abused”.

He told the jury: “The acts committed by the defendants together show a callous indifference to the women they were pursuing. In their minds, and this couldn’t be clearer, the stream of women they brought into their homes existed only to be hounded for sex.’

But the jury was also told by defense attorneys that while the trial, which involved money, sex and fame, had “all the makings of good drama,” it involved a significant “conspiracy” — the defendants were innocent .

Lockdown busting parties took place both at Mendy’s home and at a flat he rented on Chapel Street, near Manchester city centre, the court heard.

He was first arrested in November 2020 following the alleged triple rape of the 24-year-old woman at his home the previous month.

Mendy was released amid investigations before he was later charged with sexually assaulting another 24-year-old woman two months later, and while he was on police bail for that offense, he was later charged with the rape of three other women , one of whom was 17 – all offenses from which he was cleared.

Mendy was suspended from his club in August 2021 after being accused of rape.

Mr Cray said the footballer, a man of money, power and privilege, had been thinking about what was “in his pants” and that’s why he got it “terribly wrong” in believing women would consent to sex.

Lisa Wilding KC, representing Matturie, told jurors it was “shockingly easy” to make false allegations and suggested all the women involved, all of whom are in some way connected through friendships, social media connections or by attending parties be.

Mendy's attorney said the trial was

Mendy’s attorney said the trial was “absolute hell” for the footballer. He is pictured arriving at Chester Crown Court earlier in the case

The jury was told not to be “moralistic” about the sexual conduct of the defendants, and the actions of Cheshire Police were also criticized in court.

Eleanor Laws KC, defending Mendy, suggested that “regrets” about having “rapid, animalistic sex” is not the same as being raped.

Ms Wilding said the sexual habits and lifestyles of the defendants did not make them rapists and that women have deserved sexual equality for the last 40 years, however that is expressed.

The attorney told the jury they were told “layer upon layer of lies” by the woman who claimed to have been a victim of sexual assault. Among the 12 complainants there is “a tangled web of contact, collusion and contamination,” she said.

Ms Wilding said the applicants in this case had actively engaged in sex with men they barely knew and that was their right – but it could involve hurt and embarrassment

Both defense attorneys pointed out that evidence from one applicant, a 19-year-old who claimed to have been raped by both Mendy and Matturie, proved unreliable when a sex tape was revealed, which inevitably helped the rest of the case against the two weakening men.

Cell phone footage was taken by Matturie and shows him and the teenager engaging in oral and conventional sex at the Chapel Street flat, which the complainant described as rape.

The unveiling of the tape mid-trial by Matturie’s defense team resulted in the dismissal of one rape charge against Mendy and two rape charges and one sexual assault charge against Matturie.

Mendy's multi-million dollar mansion in Cheshire

Mendy’s multi-million dollar mansion in Cheshire

Ms Wilding said: “For 56 minutes she sat and made a lie statement. I suggest to you that the witness’ ability to lie and deceive and embellish was very special.

“We’ve come a long way from the dark times when “she wore a short skirt, so she wanted to ask for it.” Hopefully we’ve put that far behind us.

“Young women are sexually liberated, independent and free to use their bodies as they please. They carry the banner of sexual freedom, but with that comes responsibility.

“That doesn’t mean that what they’re doing and how they’re doing it can’t be viewed in the context of this case.”

Mendy had denied seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against six young women between October 2018 and August 2021.

Matturie, from Eccles, Salford, denied six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault involving seven young women between July 2012 and August 2021.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11631665/Manchester-City-star-Benjamin-Mendy-28-CLEARED-six-counts-rape-sex-assault.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Benjamin Mendy has been acquitted of six counts of rape and sexual assault

Maureen Mackey

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