French footballer Benjamin Mendy will return to a UK courtroom Monday for the start of his retrial for two alleged s.e.xual offences, five months after a jury cleared him of multiple other counts.
Manchester City player Mendy, 28, will be back in the dock at Chester Crown Court in northwest England to face one count of rape and one of attempted rape. Jurors in his last trial, which ended in January, failed to reach verdicts on the two charges involving two different women.
The panel of seven men and four women had cleared the defender of six other counts of rape and one of sexual assault against four women following a six-month trial. The judge in January had immediately set a new trial date of Monday for the two counts on which the jury did not return a verdict.
Mendy, whose contract with Manchester City expires at the end of this month and is reportedly not set to be renewed, has denied all the charges filed against him.
As the not guilty verdicts were read out in court in January, Mendy covered his face with both hands, gently rocking back and forth. Jenny Wiltshire, one of his lawyers, said at the time that the footballer was “delighted” that he had been acquitted of most of the charges he faced.
She added at the time that he looked forward to “clearing his name in relation to the other two charges so he can start rebuilding his life”.
Mendy was accused alongside Louis Saha Matturie, 41, an alleged “fixer”, who was found not guilty by the jury of three counts of rape relating to two teenagers.
Jurors also failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against Matturie by five other women. He faces a separate retrial later this year.
The prosecution had alleged that Mendy was a s.e.xual “predator” who raped or sexually assaulted young women procured by Matturie at parties at his luxury home south of Manchester. Mendy denied ever forcing any woman into sex and both said any s.e.xual activity they had with women was consensual.
Mendy joined Manchester City from French club Monaco in 2017. He has played 75 times for City, but his playing time was limited by injuries and a loss of form.
He has not played since August 15 2021 — days before he was hit with an initial charge of four counts of rape and one count of s.e.xual assault. The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019, after the defender won the World Cup in 2018.
In other news – Shaka iLembe’s first episode pulls over 3.6 million viewers
Shaka iLembe debuted on DStv last week Sunday and set a new record as the best-performing drama series.
The show with local stars, including Nomzamo Mmbatha and Wiseman Mncube, was viewed by more than 3.6 million people in South Africa Mzansi people credited DStv for its marketing ahead of the series premiere, which got them curious. Shaka iLembe premiered on the Mzansi Magic channel on DStv on June 18 and drew a record-breaking audience. Learn more