Benjamin Mendy sexual assault trial: Everything that has happened in court so far

Mendy has denied all of the allegations made against him

TW: Distressing content. Mention of allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Ex-Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy is currently on trial for eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, of which he has all denied. Mendy, 28, had been on trial since 15th August and denies all charges. It is alleged these offences took place on five different occasions at his home from October 2018 to August 2021.

Louis Saha Matturie, 41, is also on trial alongside Mendy. He too has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault. The trial could last as long as 15 weeks, meaning it could go on well into the winter months. Police began investigating Mendy in November 2020 and he was first charged with four counts of rape and a separate offence of sexual assault in August 2021.

Here are all the key moments in the trial so far:

Monday 15th August, 2022

The trial began on August 15 at Chester Crown Court. Timothy Cray QC, the prosecution, opened the case saying Mendy was a “reasonably famous” footballer at the time the offences took place, having won the World Cup with the French national team in 2018. Cray said that Mendy’s “wealth and status”, meant that “others were prepared to get him what he wanted.” Louis Saha Matturie, who is also on trial, was said to have the job of finding young women and “to create situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted”, Cray added.

In his opening statement, Mr Cray told the jury: “The prosecution case is simple. It has little to do with football. Instead, we say, it is another chapter in a very old story – men who rape and sexually assault women because they think they are powerful, and because they think they can get away with it. Mendy was playing for Man City. This was a period of success, where he enjoyed a privileged and moneyed lifestyle. The doors of restaurants and nightclubs were open to him, people wanted to be him. Saha was part of that world, contacting girls, ringing girls.

“Everyone should have that basic choice, the basic dignity, the right to say ‘no’ to sex. And you don’t lose that right because you’ve been to a bar or dressed for a nightclub or gone to a footballer’s house. We say these defendants weren’t in some happy state of sexual ignorance about how this all works, they knew very well what they were doing. They turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game and if women got hurt or distressed, too bad.”

Pictured is Benjamin Mendy

via SWNS

Jurors were told they would hear from 13 different women over the course of the trial. Mr Cray said: “Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences.” Cray told the court Mendy and Saha had a joint purpose. “These women were disposable: things to be used for sex, then thrown to one side,” he said.

He added: “The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after. In their minds, and this could not be clearer, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.” Cray told the jury they would “hear time and time again” that the defendants “would not take ‘no’ for an answer”.

The centre of the case is Mendy’s home, The Spinney. It was described as an isolated mansion in Mottram St Andrew in Cheshire. The court heard there were five dates from October 2018 to August 2021, when nine young women were at Mendy’s home and afterwards made complaints of rape, and/or sexual assault against both Mendy and Saha. There were also four separate complaints against Louis Saha Matturie that are alleged to have taken place outside of Mendy’s home, in Manchester and Sheffield.

The jury heard that once the victims were at the house, they were vulnerable for different reasons, one being their phones were taken from them once they arrived. “Vulnerable, scared, isolated – these are the words you’ll hear from lots of the witnesses,” Mr Cray said.

Juror were told that on the night of July 23 and early morning of July 24, Mendy raped three women. His co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, is also accused of raping one of the women Mendy is also alleged to have raped. Mr Cray said this took place after lockdown restrictions were lifted. It is alleged during a pool party, Saha asked one woman to drive to a local shop with him and on the way back he tried to kiss her and took hold of her bare legs.

Jurors were told that another woman at the pool party was invited by Saha and was invited into Mendy’s cinema room where he raped her.

Tuesday 16th August, 2022

On the second day of the trial, the court was told Mendy had tried to rape a woman after she got out of a shower at his Cheshire mansion in October 2018. Mr Cray said she went to the police in January 2022 after Mendy was mentioned in the press in connection to other allegations.

The jury were shown a video of the first alleged victim, but the playback had to be stopped because the judge was unable to hear it. The problem could not be fixed and so the jury were told to return on Wednesday.

Wednesday 17th August, 2022

On the third day of trial, a court heard that Mendy told a woman he was going to kidnap her before exposing his penis to her and attempting to rape her. The jury were told Mendy had pulled the woman onto a bed in his mansion and tried to hold her on his lap.

A police interview was played to the jury in which the woman said she first met Mendy in a club in Barcelona in October 2017. She told the officer she had liked one of his friends but Mendy took a liking to her. A year later she said she travelled to Manchester to see Mendy’s friend at the footballer’s house and they all went out to a restaurant together. Afterwards, she said they went to a nightclub when the footballer approached her.

She said: “At one point he came up to me and said, ‘when he’s not looking, I’m going to kidnap you’. I thought he was joking.” She described how they all returned to Mendy’s house and the next morning she went downstairs to look for a phone charger and the ex Manchester City player began teasing her over the charger after she declined his offer to go to his bedroom.

She recalled going back to the bedroom she was staying in and got in the shower. While showering, she said she saw Mendy enter the room. The woman said: “I saw him walk in. He was wearing white boxer shorts. He dropped them. I saw him rub himself on his private area. I said to him: ‘You need to leave’. He stepped back for a bit but then he came in and I managed to wrap myself with a towel. As I came out, he was there. He kept following me around as I went straight to my bag to get my underwear.”

She said Mendy kept forcing himself  against her and she kept pushing him away. “I tried to push him away but he just kept pushing me down. He took off his boxers and he had his penis near me. He kept on saying: “Don’t worry’,” she said.

Mendy has denied all allegations of rape, sexual assault and attempted rape made against him.

Pictured is Benjamin Mendy

via SWNS

Thursday 18th August, 2022

After allegedly raping a woman three times in his bedroom, Benjamin Mendy said: “It’s fine, I have had sex with 10,000 women”, a court heard on the fourth day of the trial. In October 2020, he allegedly lured the woman into his bedroom by taking her mobile phone and looking at naked pictures of her. Chester Crown Court heard how Mendy and the woman had been at a bar earlier in the evening.

The woman claimed Mendy told her to take her clothes off, telling her: “If you just take your clothes off, I just want to have a look at you and I won’t touch you but I just want to see what you look like. I want to see your body. I want to see your tits, your tits are so big.” After stripping down to her underwear, she said she told Mendy she did not want to have sex with him and her friend would be looking for her. He allegedly told her the door was locked.

She said: “He threw my phone on the bed and so then I bent over to get it off the bed and he had walked round the bed and came behind me and pushed me onto the bed so I was on all fours. He was then like thrusting against me with his pants up.

“And then he moved my knickers, my thong, to the side and I was like ‘no, no, this is too much’ and he was like ‘I’m just going to put the tip in just for a minute’. And I was saying ‘no I don’t want to, I don’t want to do that.’ I sort of struggled forward and I was more laying flat rather than having my back arched and he was saying ‘your a**e, your a**e it’s so nice’. After he was putting the tip in my vagina forcefully and I was saying ‘no’ and he started to put his penis into my bum.”

The woman recalled Mendy taking a step back and saying she was “too shy” to which she responded she didn’t want to have sex with him. He is alleged to have replied: “It’s okay, I’ve had sex with 10,000 woman it’s okay.”

Mendy denies the eight counts of rape against five women, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

Friday 19th August, 2022

Woman Two told Cheshire Crown Court she wanted her life to end after allegedly being sexually attacked by Benjamin Mendy. The jury had previously heard that Woman Two went back to the footballer’s house with other women after going out drinking on a Sunday evening. On Friday, the woman explained to the court why she decided to go to the police.

The woman told the jury: “The main reason was I just did not want to be here anymore. That’s a really scary thought for me to have because I have good friends and a good job, but I couldn’t carry on not being honest. If someone just listens and it is out of me then I can try to carry on. I didn’t want to live a life where pretty much I didn’t want to be here anymore. I didn’t want to do that to my family or my sister.”

Under cross-examination from Mendy’s defence barrister, Eleanor Laws QC, the woman said the weeks after the alleged rape, she “felt so bad” and wanted her “life to end”. She reported what had happened to the police on November 2, 2020. She explained she was “scared” but “needed to tell someone”. Ms Laws asked Woman Two: “Had you persuaded yourself that it was Mr Mendy that had done something wrong that night and not something entirely consensual?”

The witness replied: “I’m absolutely certain what happened. I did not give consent at any point.”

Monday 22nd August, 2022

The case continues for a second week of court. A friend of one of the young women who claims she was raped by Benjamin Mendy told the jury her friend “looked like she had seen a ghost”, after the alleged attack. The friend said she had gone looking for the woman after she had gone missing with Mendy during a party. The witness told the court she had found her friend coming downstairs from an upstairs bedroom.

Mr Cray, who is prosecuting Mendy, who denies all accusations, asked the friend: “How did she look to you?” The witness replied: “She looked like she had seen a ghost. She looked blank. She looked dead.”

The witness said that the morning after, her friend said Mendy had promised not to touch her if she stripped while he looked at her, but he then “forced” her down on a bed and raped her. The court heard both the women had been with a group of four friends who went back to Mendy’s home after drinks at a bar in October 2020. The girls had allegedly been told not to use their phones due to his concerns of being seen breaking Covid rules.

The woman who accused Mendy said she had hid her phone in her bra and had been scrolling through her phone when he came over and “snatched” it from her to check if she had posted anything. She said she asked for it back but the footballer led her to a bedroom where the alleged rape took place.

A doctor at a sexual assault referral centre in Manchester told the court that the alleged victim had self referred herself 44 hours after the incident. Dr Kirsten Beattie said she could not find any injuries even though the woman had complained of heavy bleeding the previous day. The doctor said the absence of any injuries could not determine whether or not there had been consensual or non consensual sex.

Pictured is Benjamin Mendy

via SWNS

Tuesday 23rd August, 2022

During the second week of the trial, the court heard that Benjamin Mendy allegedly asked police: “How many stories like this do you have?” when he was arrested and cautioned for rape. According to PC Luke Browczuk who went to Mendy’s house, the footballed asked the question as he was being arrested for allegedly raping a woman three times in his “locked” bedroom during a party in October 2020.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC read out the statement by the police officer. He said that when he cautioned Mendy and asked if he understood, the footballer said: “I understand what you are doing, your job and stuff. How many stories like this do you have?” During the first week of trial, a woman claims she was raped three times by the footballer and after he raped her her told her he had sex with 10,000 women. She reported the rape weeks later in November 2020 and Mendy was arrested at his home.

Chester Crown Court also heard that Mendy grabbed a woman by her vagina and then asked her why she was angry. He is accused of sexually assaulting the woman in his kitchen during a pool party at this house in January 2021, which he denies. The jury was told the footballer put his hand between the woman’s legs without speaking to her beforehand or saying anything during the alleged sexual assault.

The woman attended a party at the footballer’s home and she described going to the kitchen to get some food and was approached by Mendy. She said: “I was just going to see what was there and that’s when he grabbed my vagina. My dress was loose, it was like a skater skirt dress. I did have underwear on but I literally felt his fingers touch my vagina like in between my vagina. I would say [it lasted for] a couple of seconds.”

In a police interview, shown to the jury, the woman said Mendy asked her why she was angry and she responded it was because of how he had touched her. The woman said Mendy apologised and said he was “really sorry” and didn’t mean to make her uncomfortable. Mendy denies the eight counts of rape against five women, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

The case continues.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story contact Refuge on their free 24/7 helpline 0808 2000 247 or contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline.

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Featured image credit via SWNS.