Prospective jurors in the sex offenses case against Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy have been asked if they have ties to five Premier League players.
The names of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez and John Stones – all of whom either play for City or have previously played for City – were read to a jury at Chester Crown Court yesterday ahead of the trial, which is expected to open on Monday.
The prospective jurors, selected from a panel of 38, were given a list of people who might be witnesses or who might be referred to during the trial and asked if they had any connection with them or knew them personally.
Mendy (28) denies eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against seven applicants.
The acts are said to have taken place between October 2018 and last August.
He yesterday pleaded not guilty to one of the rape counts, after pleading not guilty to the other nine counts at previous hearings.
The defense attorney is said to be standing in court alongside Louis Saha Matturie, 40, from Eccles, Salford, who is denying eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault involving eight young women.
Prospective jurors were also heard the complainants’ names and asked if they had any ties to Manchester City, Manchester United or the police.
Chester clerk Judge Steven Everett told them: “Some of you will appreciate that Mr Mendy is a professional footballer. He plays for Manchester City.”
Eight men and six women were sworn in as jurors, including two jurors who will be released after the trial.
They were told the trial was expected to take 15 weeks.
About 20 members of the media attended the court hearing yesterday, with others watching via video link.
A French interpreter was in the dock with the defendants.
Mendy has played for Manchester City since 2017, when he left Ligue 1 from Monaco for a reported £52m (€62m).
He has been suspended by the Premier League club after being charged by police.
Both defendants are on bail.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/jury-selected-for-trial-of-manchester-city-defender-benjamin-mendy-who-faces-eight-charges-of-rape-41903974.html Jury selected for trial of Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy who faces eight rape charges