Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault against four young women. The jury failed to reach verdicts on one count of rape and one of attempted rape and a retrial will take place.
Louis Saha Matturie, 41, was also found not guilty of three counts of rape against two teenagers. Jurors at Chester Crown Court could not reach verdicts on six other counts by five other women.
Mr Mendy, 28, and his friend Mr Matturie, had been accused of raping women at the player’s home in Prestbury, Cheshire, and at a Manchester flat. Mr Mendy covered his face with both hands as the jury foreman repeated “not guilty” to the six counts.
During a six-month trial, prosecutors told the jury Mr 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.