Benjamin Mendy, a defender for top English club Manchester City, is on trial for allegedly raping women as young as 17 in “panic rooms” at his country estate.
Mendy is a French citizen who played for the national team from 2017 to 2019, contributing a remarkably brief 40 minutes of playtime to a single goalless game during their World Cup-winning effort in Russia in 2018.
He is a practising Muslim who has previously made the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
While the 28-year-old was once dubbed “the world’s most expensive defender” after joining Manchester City from Monaco for £52 million, he is now back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Mendy is appearing before Chester Crown Court to face eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, and one count of sexual assault against five women, all of which he denies.
Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC said that because of his wealth and status, some women were willing to give what he desired. “He is a predator who turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game, the court also heard.
Mendy also had “friend and fixer” Louis Saha Matturie, who faces eight rape and four sexual assault charges against eight women, all of which he denies, lure his alleged victims out to his large and isolated mansion in the countryside, and that once inside, “the free, informed consent to sex of the women… just did not matter.”
Women are said to have been victimised in the mansion’s cinema and in impromptu “panic rooms” set up by special locking mechanisms. Others are said to have been assaulted while unconscious.