Benjamin Mendy cleared of 6 counts of rape
Manchester City and France defender Benjamin Mendy was found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. The verdict at Chester crown court brought an end to a five-month trial after the 28-year-old was accused of raping four women and sexually assaulting another at his Cheshire mansion.
As the jury foreman read out multiple not guilty verdicts, Mendy is understood to have "slumped with his head in his hands" and was close to tears while he was on the court dock, according to Josh Halliday and Helen Pidd of The Guardian.
Mendy, however, faces a second trial later this year after jurors couldn't reach verdicts on one count of rape and one of attempted rape. It's scheduled for June 26.
The 2018 World Cup winner previously told the court that the sex he had with his accusers was consensual.
The alleged incidents are said to have taken place at his home between October 2018 and August 2021. Mendy was charged and taken into custody on August 26, 2021.
An accomplice of Mendy, Louis Saha Matturie, was also cleared of multiple counts of rape. He was found not guilty of three counts of rape, while jurors failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against him.
Mendy and Matturie were accused of preying on their alleged victim during parties at the Manchester City player's home.
In total, 13 women accused both men of committing multiple sexual offences.
Manchester City suspended Mendy, who joined the club from AS Monaco in 2017 for £52 million, after his arrest in August 2021 pending an investigation.
A statement from the Premier League club, obtained by BBC News, read: "Given there are open matters related to this case, the club is not in a position to comment further at this time."