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French footballer Benjamin Mendy found not guilty of rape and attempted rape at retrial

Former Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy walking outside Chester Crown Court
Former Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy walking outside Chester Crown Court Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP
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French footballer Benjamin Mendy was found not guilty of rape and attempted rape - five months after being acquitted of six other rape charges and one count of sexual assault.

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Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy was found not guilty at a retrial Friday of one count of raping a woman and the attempted rape of another woman.

Mendy broke down in tears as the verdicts were given by the jury foreman following a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court in northwest England. He stood for the verdicts but sank to his seat, his head on his knees, wiping away tears with a tissue.

The France international, whose contract with City ended on 1 July, was cleared of attempting to rape a woman — who was aged 29 at the time — at his home in October 2018. He was also found not guilty of the rape of a second woman, aged 24, two years later also at his home address.

Mendy denied the charges and said the incidents were consensual encounters.

The jury of six men and six women considered the verdicts for more than three hours.

Earlier this year, Mendy was cleared by a jury of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, relating to four young women or teenagers, following a six-month trial. Jurors failed to reach verdicts on two counts, of rape and attempted rape, leading to the retrial.

“It has been almost three 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," said Jenny Wiltshire, Mendy’s lawyer, outside the court.

“He thanks everyone who has supported him throughout this ordeal and now asks for privacy so he can begin rebuilding his life.”

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