Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty at a retrial of raping a woman and attempting to rape another.
Mendy, 28, displayed strong emotions upon hearing the verdicts at Chester Crown Court in northwest England, breaking down in tears and burying his head in his knees while seated, wiping away tears with a tissue.
The French international, whose contract with Manchester City ended on July 1, was found not guilty of attempting to rape a 29-year-old woman at his residence in October 2018. He was also acquitted of the rape charges involving a second woman, aged 24, that allegedly took place at his home address two years later.
Throughout the trial, Mendy denied the accusations and claimed that the encounters were consensual.
The jury, consisting of six men and six women, deliberated for over three hours before reaching their verdicts.
Earlier this year, Mendy was acquitted by a separate jury of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, involving four young women or teenagers, following a six-month trial. The jury failed to reach a decision on two counts of rape and attempted rape, leading to the retrial.
“It has been almost three years since the police started investigating this matter. Mr. Mendy has tried to remain strong but the process has, inevitably, had a serious impact on him,” said Jenny Wiltshire, Mendy’s lawyer, outside the court.
Jenny Wiltshire, Mendy’s lawyer, spoke outside the court, acknowledging the impact the lengthy investigation has had on her client. She stated that Mendy appreciates the support he has received and now requests privacy as he begins to rebuild his life.
“He thanks everyone who has supported him throughout this ordeal and now asks for privacy so he can begin rebuilding his life.”
Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories.