Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy is facing trial accused of two sexual offences
London (AFP) - French footballer Benjamin Mendy returned to a UK courtroom Monday to face a retrial for two alleged sexual offences, five months after a jury cleared him of multiple other counts.
Manchester City player Mendy, 28, was photographed arriving and leaving Chester Crown Court in northwest England as he prepared to re-enter the dock charged with one count of rape and one of attempted rape.
Proceedings in his retrial are expected to begin on Tuesday once a new jury has been selected.
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”.
- ‘Predator’ accusations -
The case is due to get under way after jury selection
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 sexual “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 sexual 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 sexual assault.
The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019, after the defender won the World Cup in 2018.