Footballer Benjamin Mendy (28) and his accomplice Saha Matturie (40) are accused of sexually assaulting and raping a total of 22 young women. The trial of the Manchester City defender and the French national team kicked off yesterday with a plea from the victim’s lawyer, sharing some cruel details.
Trigger warning: This article is about sexual assault and the details can be shocking.
The case concerns facts that would have taken place between 2018 and 2021. Mendy and his so-called ‘fixer’ Matturie are accused of various sexual offenses against 22 women.
The footballer denies eight allegations of rape, one of assault and one of attempted assault. His friend, in turn, denies eight counts of rape and four of sexual assault. Both claim that the women had consented to the sexual acts each time. Mendy was suspended by his club Manchester City last August. During that period, he was also detained for a while, awaiting trial. Both suspects are currently out on bail.
The victims have an average age of 20 years and 9 months. One of the women was even barely 17 years old. The same things were repeated in all the women’s stories: they were too drunk to remember, or they were asleep and were awakened abruptly.
“This case has little to do with football ,” prosecutor Timothy Cray began his plea . “He [Mendy] played for Manchester City and won the World Cup with the French national team. The successes brought fame and money. Mendy abused the wealth and status to find others to help him get what he wanted. is a new chapter in an old story: men who rape and assault because they think they have power and they can get away with it.”
“They have turned their pursuit of female sex partners into a game,” he continued his plea. “It made them predators, capable of serious sex crimes. They were willing to cross boundaries to do that. To them, these women were expendable, they could have sex with them and then push them aside.”
Mendy’s villa, which was located 30 kilometers outside Manchester, was described in detail in the plea. “It makes sense that they felt vulnerable as soon as the gates were locked behind them,” said Cray, adding that some victims had to hand in their cellphones upon entry, while others were locked in a room, according to testimonies. In these so-called panic rooms, the door could only be opened from the inside in a specific way.
🚨 Benjamin Mendy's rape trial began today and the court heard that the Manchester City player raped women inside locked 'panic rooms' in his isolated country mansion from which they believed they could not escape.
(Source: Guardian) pic.twitter.com/QmA9qmeqHB
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 15, 2022
According to Cray, Mendy and Saha often followed a set routine. “Saha was tasked with finding young women and creating situations where they could be raped.” Cray details a specific case where a 22-year-old woman was invited by Saha to swim with Mendy. When the woman was invited to his home theater by Mendy, she warned another woman present that if she was not back within 10 minutes, they should come and find her. The other woman present followed the instructions but was blocked at the door by
two of Mendy’s accomplices. In the home theater, the 22-year-old victim refused to have sex with Mendy, but eventually gave in and was raped.
Later that night, Mendy and Saha are said to have gone to a nightclub, where they took two 19-year-old girls home. They too were both raped. One of the two girls is said to have woken up with arms clasped behind her back while being raped by Mendy who told her not to move.
The process will take about 15 weeks. Both suspects are free to await trial. Mendy has been suspended by his club Manchester City, but it is unclear whether he will still receive a salary in the meantime. The footballer moved to Manchester in 2017. Before that he played for Monaco.
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