After five months of trial, Benjamin Mendy was declared not guilty of six rapes and a sexual assault, this Friday, by British justice. The French international footballer will however be retried on two charges, for which the jury did not reach a verdict. Judge Steven Everett of the Chester court told the defender, suspended by Manchester City, that a preliminary hearing would take place on January 27 before two to three weeks of trial from June 26. 20 minutes provides an update on the “Mendy trial”, while Benjamin Mendy is not done with justice and will probably not play again with the Citizens.
What happened this Friday concerning the “Mendy trial”?
After five months of trial, Benjamin Mendy, 28, was found not guilty of six rapes and one sexual assault on four women. As the decision was announced, the player placed both hands over his face, rocking back and forth slightly in the court box in Chester, northern England.
The defender with ten selections with the Blues, suspended for more than a year by his club Manchester City, had appeared since the beginning of August. Accused of seven rapes, an attempted rape and a sexual assault, he risked life imprisonment. “He can’t wait to clear his name” so he can “start to rebuild his life,” said his lawyer Jenny Wiltshire. Benjamin Mendy is “delighted” to have been acquitted “unanimously” of most of the charges against him, she added.
His co-accused Louis Saha Matturie (unrelated to former footballer Louis Saha), presented as his tout, was found not guilty of three rape charges and the jury did not reach a verdict for three others charges of rape and three of sexual assault.
Why will Benjamin Mendy be tried again in June?
After four months of hearings, the jury, made up of eight men and four women, retired to deliberate on December 5, but the discussions had been interrupted several times due to cases of Covid-19. What followed was a long-planned hiatus and a truce over the holiday season. And after fourteen days of deliberation, jurors acquitted the footballer but they failed to agree on a verdict on two other counts: one for rape of a 24-year-old woman in October 2020 and one another of attempted rape of a 29-year-old woman in 2018.
Benjamin Mendy will thus be retried for two to three weeks from June 26 for these charges, announced judge Steven Everett. A procedural hearing is scheduled for January 27.
What about his career at Manchester City?
Despite this favorable verdict, Benjamin Mendy should not play with the Skyblues again until his second trial. And even never again, since after June, the contract of the footballer, who has not been paid by City since September 2021, will be finished [« sauf énorme et improbable retournement de situation », analysent nos collègues des sports de 20 Minutes].
This Friday, the Mancunian club took note of the verdict, but considered that it was “not in a position to make further comments” insofar as this case is not closed, Manchester City reacted by way of of a press release.
And it turns out that the club no longer wants to hear about the one who was presented as a “predator” who abused “vulnerable, terrified and isolated” victims during his trial. “The fact that there is a second trial suits them well, it allows them to continue its suspension”, note our colleagues from 20 minutes who agree with the words of their colleagues from RMC Sport: “The programming of this new trial suits Manchester City. Because the left side’s contract is currently suspended… and will soon be over. On July 1, Mendy will also no longer be under contract with the Skyblues, who recruited him in 2017 in Monaco for 57.5 million euros. In other words, he has no chance of replaying with the second in the Premier League by the end of the season. »
Benjamin Mendy played his last match on August 15, 2021. On the 26th, the authorities announced his placement in police custody and, in the process, Manchester City announced his suspension.