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Ex-Manchester City star Benjamin Mendy weeps as he is cleared of rape after retrial
14 July 2023, 15:24 | Updated: 14 July 2023, 16:54
Ex-Manchester City star Benjamin Mendy has been cleared of rape and attempted rape.
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The 28-year-old was accused of raping a woman in 2020 and the attempted rape of another woman two years prior.
He had previously been cleared of sex crimes by a jury except for two counts.
But after a retrial he has been cleared of those too, and the footballer wept as he was found not guilty.
In a statement released outside the court through a representative, he thanked jurors for "focusing on the evidence… rather than on the rumour and innuendo that have followed this case from he outset".
"This is the second time that Mr Mendy has been tried and found not guilty by the jury. He is delighted that both juries reached the correct verdict," the representative said.
Mendy had denied the offences, which were alleged to have taken place at his Cheshire mansion.
Prosecutors alleged he raped a woman, 24, at his home in Mottram St Andrew in 2020.
She had been out with friend at a bar in Aderley Edge, near where Mendy lived, when he invited them back to his home.
She claimed the footballer took her phone and brought her to his locked bedroom as she tried to get it back.
The woman alleged he had raped her when she went to pick her phone up off his bed despite telling him she did not have sex.
It was also alleged that three years earlier, he met a different woman, a student who was aged 29 at the time.
They were at a Barcelona nightclub in late 2017 and she became intimate with one of his friends, jurors at Chester Crown Court heard.
She visited him at Mendy's house and stayed there after a night out in October 2018, and that Mendy tried to rape her in the bedroom she stayed in before she managed to get away.
But Mendy denied both counts.
He said in the latter case, he had told the woman his friend said it was OK for them to have sex, but she became upset so he left the room.
Speaking about the rape allegation, the France international said he did not hold the woman down or penetrate her.
"I will never force to have sex with a woman," he said.
The footballer was cleared on Friday. It is unclear if he will be able to revive his career. He was suspended by Manchester City in 2021 and his contract has now expired.
Previously, he was cleared of sexual offences alleged by other women, but the jury could not agree verdicts for the two accusations he has now been cleared of.
Updates to follow