July 14, (THEWILL) – Former Manchester City and France footballer, Benjamin Mendy, was cleared of sex offences on Friday, leading to an emotional reaction in court.
The 28-year-old broke down in tears, as a UK jury at Chester Crown Court in northwest England delivered the verdict after a three-week trial. This followed a previous trial in which Mendy had been cleared of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault. Although jurors were unable to reach a verdict on two remaining counts, Mendy’s lawyers noted his delight at being acquitted in both trials, highlighting the impact the court process had on him.
Mendy, who held the record as the most expensive defender signing for Manchester City in 2017, has faced allegations of being a sexual “predator.” The prosecution claimed that he raped or sexually assaulted young women procured by Louis Saha Matturie, an alleged “fixer.” However, Mendy consistently denied the charges and asserted that any sexual activity he engaged in with women was consensual.
While he missed out on playing due to injuries and a decline in form, his absence was further compounded by the court trials, causing him to miss Manchester City’s triumphant season in the English Premier League, FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. Following the verdict, Mendy’s lawyers issued a statement expressing his gratitude to the jury for focusing on the evidence presented during the trial. They stressed the impact the court process had on Mendy, who had tried to remain strong throughout. Although he was delighted to be acquitted in both trials, the ordeal had a serious impact on him personally.
Mendy’s future remains uncertain as his contract with Manchester City expired in June, but he can now move forward from the legal proceedings that have hung over him for several months.