Footballer Benjamin Mendy is a “predator” who used a “fixer” friend to rape and sexually attack women, a jury was told today (August 15).
The 28-year-old Manchester City defender, 28, is on trial at Chester Crown Court accused of eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies all charges.
Co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, has also pleaded not guilty to eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight women. The court heard that the majority of the alleged offences [nine] were committed at Mendy’s home address in a Cheshire mansion, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Opening the trial, Timothy Cray, QC, prosecuting, said it was “another chapter in a very old story: men who rape and sexually assault women”.
He said: “The prosecution case is simple. It has little to do with football. Instead, we say, it is another chapter in a very old story: men who rape and sexually assault women, because they think they are powerful, and because they think they can get away with it.”
Mr Cray said the feeling of the alleged victims “counted for nothing”. He added: “These women were disposable: things to be used for sex, then thrown to one side. That was the effect of deliberate, planned choices the defendants made, and the desires they let loose many times.”
Mendy, a France international, is alleged to have committed the offences against seven young women between October 2018 and August last year. His co-accused Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, is accused of offences relating to eight young women.
Mr Cray told the jury Mendy was a “reasonably famous football player” who “because of his wealth and status, others were prepared to help him to get what he wanted”.
The prosecutor said Matturie was Mendy’s friend and fixer and one of his jobs was “to find young women and to create the situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted”. He said: “The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after. In their minds, and this could not be clearer, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.”
Mr Cray told jurors they would hear from 13 different women.
He said: “Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences.” He said “the fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer” would be something the jurors will “hear time and time again”.
The prosecution said the majority of the alleged offences [nine] were committed at Mendy’s home address in a Cheshire mansion, while there were four separate complaints against Matturie in other locations.
Mr Cray said the address is on a “rural road without any street lighting”, and about a 15-minute walk from the nearest village, Prestbury. Mr Cray said: “Saha was a helper, Mendy’s friend and ‘fixer’. He had use of a flat in Manchester that Mendy paid for and, during 2018 -2021, they were very close,” the prosecution continued.
“The allegations show that one of Saha’s jobs for Mendy was to find young women and to create the situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted. The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after. In their minds, and this could not be clearer, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.”
The prosecution stated: “Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences. The fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer, or that they engineered situations where ‘no’ was not even an option, is something you will hear time and time again.”
Mr Cray told jurors that the study and master bedroom in the Cheshire mansion had “special locking doors”, which could only be opened from within. He alleged that only someone who knew how to unlock the doors could do so.
“Two of the witnesses allege rapes in those rooms,” he told the court. “They felt they were locked in by those locking doors.”
The court heard the defendants are accused of taking some of the witnesses’ mobile phones away, while taking other complainants to rooms they believed were locked. Some of the complainants are alleged to have been drunk with the defendants accused of wanting them to be drunk.
The prosecution added: “In broad terms however the defendants mostly say this: they say that the women – the witnesses – consented to sex, willingly, often enthusiastically. Large parts of the ‘what happened’ question are not controversial. The bit that is, the bit we’ll keep coming back to, is consent.
“Put another way, the prosecution accept that, some women would consent to have sex with Mendy, but not every woman would or did. The big jump that Mendy made was to want every woman who arrived at his address to be available for sex. Saha shared that mindset. Together, they had convinced themselves that the free, informed consent to sex of the women who came into their orbits, just did not matter.
https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cheshire-live.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fchester-cheshire-news%2Fbenjamin-mendy-raped-women-cheshire-24761819&cre=bottom&cip=25&view=web “We say these defendants weren’t in some happy state of sexual ignorance – they knew very well what they were doing. They turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game and if women got hurt or distressed – too bad.”
A jury of eight men and four women were sworn in for the trial last Wednesday. It is expected to last for more than three months.