Manchester City Footballer Benjamin Mendy Raped Women In ‘Panic Rooms’, Jury Told

Manchester City Footballer Benjamin Mendy Raped Women In ‘Panic Rooms’, Jury Told
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A jury at Chester crown court heard on Monday that the 28-year-old French international defender used his wealth and fame to entice women back to his gated Cheshire home and rape them in his locked “panic rooms” when they either said no or were too drunk to consent.

Prosecutors described Benjamin Mendy as a “predator” who could not take no for an answer.

Mendy is also charged with one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He is accused of assaulting seven young women between October 2018 and August of last year.

He denies the allegations.

Timothy Cray, the lawyer for the prosecution, opened the trial at Chester Crown Court in northwest England by telling 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.”

Cray said Saha was Mendy’s friend and fixer, and one of his jobs was “to find young women and to create the situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted.”

“The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after,” Cray told the court. “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 jurors they will hear from 13 different women. “Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offenses,” Cray said.

He said: “the fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer would be something the jurors will hear time and time again.”

The court heard that in July 2021, Saha offered to pay a woman to attend a party at Mendy’s house with a friend instead of working a shift at a nightclub. Mendy raped the woman in his cinema room without using a condom, according to the woman. The jury was told that two of Mendy’s associates blocked her friend’s path when she went to look for her.

Two of the women told police they were “passed between” both men at Mendy’s multimillion-pound mansion, where he hosted pool parties. The court heard, one was so drunk that she didn’t realise both men had sex with her until semen from each was discovered in her knickers.

Five claimed to have been raped or sexually assaulted solely by Mendy, while six claimed to have been raped or sexually assaulted solely by Saha. The men have denied all 22 charges levelled against them.

Some of the women told police they had their phones taken off them on arrival. Ostensibly this was to protect Mendy and others from unwanted social media intrusion – “I imagine that Mendy did not want Pep Guardiola to see him out late on Instagram with a load of girls,” said Cray – but it also left them unable to call for help.

Both men knew what they were doing, Cray said. “They were not 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, in effect, and if women got hurt or distressed – too bad. Make it go away.”

He added: “In this day and age, no one can doubt, can they, to use the common saying, that ‘no means no’? That’s no longer some sort of grey area, or some sort of an open door for a man to push through regardless … 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 and you are partying.”

Mendy joined City from Monaco in 2017. The club suspended him after he was charged by police. Both defendants have been released on bail, and the trial could last up to 15 weeks.

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