Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman on a judge’s order.
Co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 41, was also cleared of two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault against the same woman after prosecutors failed to provide further evidence against the defendants in those four counts.
Matturie wiped tears from his eyes as he stood in the dock and the formal verdicts of not guilty, as ordered by the judge, were rendered by the jury foreman at Chester Crown Court.
Judge Stephen Everett warned the jury not to speculate as to why the prosecution decided not to pursue guilty verdicts on the charges at issue and to continue to “faithfully” try the defendants on the numerous counts they still face .
Earlier, jurors were told of a private video showing the woman having “enthusiastic sex” with Matturie as she claimed to have been raped.
The 20-minute cell phone video was taken by Matturie on August 1 last year, the court was told, a week after both men allegedly raped the same woman on the same night last weekend at the footballer’s mansion in Prestbury, Cheshire.
The woman had told jurors that Matturie sexually assaulted her for the second time on August 1 last year at a Salford flat.
Lisa Wilding KC, who defended Matturie, suggested what happened between them was “consensual, willing and enthusiastic” sex, not rape, Chester Crown Court was told.
The woman denied this, claiming the incident left her “shamed and disgusted”. Ms Wilding continued: “When you and he were having sex … you and he filmed that sex. You know you and he had a discussion before, words like ‘let’s make our own little film’.”
The witness replied, “No. I would not do that.”
Ms Wilding added: “He had his phone right in front of you the entire time you and he were having sex.” The woman replied, “I wasn’t aware of that.”
Ms Wilding said, “You’ve looked straight into the camera more than once and enjoyed what you’re doing?” The tearful-eyed woman replied, “No.”
Ms Wilding continued: “The sex lasted almost 20 minutes. You initially had sex on your knees. They then gave him oral sex while looking at the camera.
“Did you then sit on him and spin around and smile at the camera?”
“No,” the woman replied.
Miss Wilding said, “Well, then I must ask you to look at some pictures.”
The hearing was then adjourned and when the court resumed after lunchtime, Prosecutor Timothy Cray KC told the court that prosecutors were not now seeking convictions for alleged sex offenses in which the 19-year-old applicant was involved.
The jury was then ordered to enter an acquittal against the accused.
The rape charges against Mendy were dropped in connection with a week before the Matturie incident, when the woman had claimed she woke up at Mendy’s house after a club night and found the 28-year-old footballer raping her.
Mendy still faces seven rapes. The process goes on.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/judge-finds-man-city-footballer-benjamin-mendy-not-guilty-of-one-rape-count-41987385.html Judge finds Man City footballer Benjamin Mendy not guilty of rape