Lawyers of Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City defender, say he is “delighted” to have been cleared of a string of rape charges and “looks forward” to clearing his name at a retrial over two remaining allegations before “rebuilding his life.”
The French footballer, who has been suspended without pay by Manchester City since being first charged in August 2021, was found not guilty of seven of nine counts following a five-month trial at Chester Crown Court, Mirror reported.
But the jury of seven men and four women could not reach verdicts on one remaining count of rape and another of attempted rape after 14 days of deliberations, leading to Judge Steven Everett deciding to draw the trial a close.
Mendy’s retrial has been pencilled in for June 26 and is expected to last up to two weeks.
Jenny Wiltshire, of Hickman & Rose, said: “My client Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for their dedication and commitment. He also thanks everyone who supported him, and particularly the witnesses who gave evidence on his behalf in the glare of such intense publicity.”
She said that he was “delighted that he has been unanimously acquitted” of most of the charges he faced before adding that “he looks forward to clearing his name in relation to the other two charges so he can start rebuilding his life. Until these proceedings have concluded neither I, nor my client, are able to comment further.”
Mendy was close to tears as the verdicts were read out.
His co-accused Louis Saha Matturie was cleared of three charges of rape involving two women but the jury was unable to reach verdicts on six other counts against the 41-year-old, four alleged rapes against three women and the alleged sexual assault of two women.
Matturie, who cried in the dock as he learned about the verdicts, will face a retrial for the remaining counts in September.
In the opening month of the trial both men were found not guilty of an additional count of rape relating to one woman after video footage emerged during of consensual sex taking place.