Benjamin Mendy ‘used panic room in his mansion to rape women’, court hears
World Cup winner is on trial over sex abuse claims
Benjamin Mendy, the Manchester City footballer, raped several women in the “panic room” of his isolated country mansion, a court has heard.
The 28-year-old 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 the charges.
It is alleged that he raped five women in the cinema and panic rooms – so called because of locking mechanisms stopping them opening from the outside – at his gated mansion in rural Cheshire, or while they were unconscious.
The youngest woman was 17, the court heard.
His co-defendant, Louis Saha Matturie, is alleged to have had the job of finding young women for Mr Mendy.
He also denies all the charges against him.
Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, said Mr Mendy’s mansion – called The Spinney and in the village Mottram St Andrew – was “part and parcel of how the defendants were able to gain control over their victims”.
“It was isolated or so many of the witnesses thought, and once they were there, with the gates locked behind them, they felt vulnerable,” he told jurors.
The two men showed a callous indifference to the women they went after
On several occasions, the women had their phones confiscated from them upon arrival, the prosecutor said.
The attitude of Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie was that, once the doors closed behind the women at his mansion or a separate flat they used in Chapel Street, they were “available for sex”, Mr Cray told jurors. The men allegedly turned the “pursuit of women for sex into a game”.
Mr Mendy was a “reasonably famous football player” who was a World Cup winner with the French national team and had a contract with Manchester City, the jury were told.
“Because of his wealth and status, others were prepared to help him to get what he wanted,” the prosecutor said, including Mr Matturie, whom he said was Mr Mendy’s “friend and fixer”.
The two men, the prosecutor said, showed a “callous indifference to the women they went after”.
Mr Cray said: “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.”
The defendants will claim that either the sexual encounters were consensual or did not happen at all, the prosecutor told the jury.
Mr Mendy’s gated mansion is 17 miles south of central Manchester and a 15-minute walk away from the nearest village of Prestbury, which heightened the sense some women had of being “trapped and isolated”, the prosecutor said.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 2018 and August last year.
Mr Matturie (40) of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eightwomen. The alleged offences span July 2012 to August 2021.
Mr Mendy has played for Manchester City since 2017, when he joined from Monaco. He was suspended by the club after being charged by police.
The trial continues.
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