Benjamin Mendy (born 17 July 1994) is a French professional footballer who plays as a left-back and is a free agent. He also represented the France national team from 2017 until 2019.
After coming through Le Havre's youth academy, Mendy began his playing career with the club's reserve team in 2010, being promoted to the first team a year later. He remained with the club until 2013, when he joined Ligue 1 club Marseille. Mendy spent the next three seasons with Les Olympiens before leaving for Monaco, with whom he won the national championship in 2016–17. In the summer of 2017, Mendy moved to English club Manchester City on a then world-record transfer fee for a defender. He subsequently won the Premier League in his first season in England. Following his 2021 arrest he was suspended by the club and played only a single game during the final two years of his contract before he was released in June 2023.
Mendy made his senior debut for France in 2017 after previously being capped by France youth teams at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels. He was chosen in France's squad for the 2018 World Cup, which they won.
Rape Charges and Acquittals
On 26 August 2021, Cheshire Constabulary charged Mendy with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault and remanded him in custody. The initial charges related to alleged offences against three different female complainants, all aged over 16, between October 2020 and August 2021. His application for bail was refused, as he had broken prior bail conditions imposed that he should not host any house parties. Manchester City suspended him pending a trial. Mendy appeared in court on 10 September and was remanded in custody.
While he was in custody, Mendy was charged with three more counts of rape. On 7 January 2022, he was granted bail on condition that he live at his home address in Prestbury, Cheshire, not contact complainants and surrender his passport. Mendy pleaded not guilty on 22 May to seven charges of rape, one of attempted rape and one of sexual assault, relating to six complainants. On 1 June, Mendy was charged with an additional rape brought forward by a new complainant.
The trial began on 10 August 2022 at Chester Crown Court. Mendy was charged with eight rapes, one attempted rape and a sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. The jury was made up of 14 jurors, eight men and six women, including two alternates; all had to certify that they had no connection to Manchester City, Manchester United or the police.
On 13 September 2022, Mendy was found not guilty of one count of rape against a 19-year-old woman. Judge Stephen Everett told the jury to deliver a not guilty verdict after the prosecution decided not to pursue a guilty verdict on the one count. This was after footage emerged of the complainant having consensual sex with Mendy's co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, on an occasion that she alleged was rape.
On 13 January 2023, Mendy was found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, while Matturie was found not guilty of six counts of rape and three of sexual assault; all verdicts were unanimous. The same jury could not reach a verdict on another count of rape and one count of attempted rape against Mendy, as well as three counts of rape and three of sexual assault against Matturie.
On 26 June 2023, Mendy's retrial for his outstanding charges began at the same venue, with a new jury. Matturie was tried separately for his outstanding charges.
On 14 July 2023, Mendy was found not guilty of one charge of rape and one of attempted rape.
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