Benjamin Mendy, a former Manchester City player, has been cleared of raping one young woman and attempting to rape another.
After a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court, Mendy, 28, sobbed as the jury foreman read the two not guilty verdicts.
If found guilty, the French national team player and World Cup champion would have received a significant prison sentence.
After around three hours and fifteen minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on both counts.
In October 2020, he was found not guilty of assaulting a 24-year-old lady at The Spinney, his £4.2 million property in Mottram St. Andrew, Cheshire.
The second charge, the attempted rape of a 29-year-old woman at his house two years earlier, was similarly dismissed by the jury.
Any sexual activity was consensual, Mendy informed the panel of six women and six men.
After releasing Mendy from the dock, trial judge Stephen Everett, the Recorder of Chester, thanked the jury.
After the jury was unable to reach a judgement about the accusations made by the two women, Mendy was put on trial a second time.
He was found not guilty on all six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault related to four other young women or teenagers in his first trial, which lasted six months and ended in January.
In the retrial, Benjamin Aina KC, the prosecutor, told the jury that Mendy enjoyed hosting parties at his house and on two instances “took advantage” of his female guests. He also said that because of his riches and fame, Mendy had become a guy who was unaccustomed to hearing “No” from women.
The first accuser, woman A, a student of 29 years old, initially encountered Mendy in a Barcelona nightclub in late 2017 and got personal with one of his buddies.
They continued in touch, and a year later she planned a visit to Mendy’s friend’s home, where they had all spent the night after going out with other girls.
Mendy showed up unannounced the following morning as she took a shower in the en-suite bathroom, only wearing boxer shorts and holding himself, looking ‘aroused’, she told the jurors.
The victim allegedly told Mendy numerous times to stop before he allegedly grabbed her and attempted to rape her on the bed as she struggled to get away.
Mendy said before the jury that the two were “flirting” while out that night, and the following morning, when he returned to her room, they started cuddling on a bed.
He claimed she told him she was with his friend and wouldn’t have sex with him.
Mendy claimed that when he told her that he had already questioned his friend, who had assured him that it would be “OK,” she became agitated. He denied making an attempt at rape.
Woman B, then 24 years old, was out with friends at a pub in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, not far from Mendy’s house, when they received an invitation to return to the footballer’s home two years later.
She claims that after taking her phone, which she said contained “intimate” images, Mendy brought her to his locked bedroom as she begged for her phone back.
It was said that Mendy told the woman, “I just wanna look at you,” and instructed her to remove her clothes.
Mendy threw her phone on the bed when Woman B agreed and continued wearing her pants.
Mendy is accused of grabbing her from behind as she reached for it, despite her assurances that she didn’t want sex, and raping her.
The woman said afterwards Mendy said to her: “You’re too shy. It’s fine. I’ve had sex with 10,000 women.”
Mendy admitted to the jury that the woman had agreed to “play around” on the bed but denied raping her, adding that they had exchanged contact information for a Snapchat connection thereafter.
Mendy wasn’t accustomed to women rejecting him, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Aina.
He said: “You wanted women who came to your house to party, get drunk and have sex?”
Mendy replied: “If they want.
“I will never force to have sex with a woman.”
In a statement, Mendy’s lawyer, Jenny Wiltshire, said: “Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for focussing on the evidence in this trial, rather than on the rumour and innuendo that have followed this case from the outset.
“This is the second time that Mr Mendy has been tried and found not guilty by a jury. He is delighted that both juries reached the correct verdicts.
“It has been almost 3 years since the police started investigating this matter. Mr Mendy has tried to remain strong but the process has, inevitably had a serious impact on him.
“He thanks everyone who has supported him throughout this ordeal and now asks for privacy so he can begin rebuilding his life.”