Man City’s Mendy was a ‘predator’ pursuing women, rape trial heard

Chester (UK) (AFP) – An English court heard on Monday that Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy, on trial for rape and sexual assault, was a “predator” who ruthlessly pursued vulnerable women.

Mendy, 28, is on trial at Chester Crown Court in the North West of England, facing eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, involving seven young women.

The Premier League star has pleaded not guilty to all charges in a complex trial which is expected to last 15 weeks.

The jury trial opened last week and the prosecution began closing arguments on Monday.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray told the court that Mendy and his co-defendant, Louis Saha Matturie, were “predators, who were out to commit serious sexual offences” as they pursued women.

Cray alleged that Mendy behaved with “ruthless indifference” towards women who were “vulnerable, scared, isolated”.

Matturie’s job was “to find young women and create situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted,” he argued.

The men “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game and if the women were hurt or distressed, so be it,” the lawyer said.

Matturie, 40, also pleaded not guilty to eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault.

The alleged offenses by the two men allegedly took place between July 2012 and August last year, with Mendy being charged with a series of sex offenses from October 2018.

None of the women allegedly assaulted can be named under English law, which also imposes restrictions on what can be reported on the case.

– Secluded mansion –

The jury heard during Cray’s opening statements on Monday that Mendy’s lavish home in the Cheshire countryside village of Mottram St Andrew was at the heart of the alleged crimes.

Nine young women have filed charges of rape or sexual assault against Mendy and Saha after visiting the remote mansion south of Manchester between October 2018 and August 2021.

Two victims told police they were in locked rooms inside the home – which contains a swimming pool, hot tub and movie theater – when they were allegedly assaulted, Cray detailed.

The prosecutor also argued that the couple targeted “women who were so drunk almost to the point that they had little or no recollection of the incidents, or were sleeping, or waking up from sleep.”

Mendy joined Premier League champions City from Monaco in 2017. He played 75 times for Manchester City, but his playing time was limited by injuries and a loss of form.

He was suspended by City after being charged by police last August.

The last of Mendy’s 10 international caps came in November 2019. The defender won a World Cup winner’s medal after playing just 40 minutes of France’s successful 2018 campaign in Russia.

The trial comes as former Manchester United star player and Wales manager Ryan Giggs goes on trial at Manchester Crown Court for assaulting his former partner by head-butting her and subjecting her to behavior of controlling and coercive.