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Mendy rape accuser ‘was in WhatsApp group with another alleged assault victim’

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court (David Rawcliffe/PA)
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court (David Rawcliffe/PA)

A woman who has accused Premier League footballer Benjamin Mendy of rape was in a WhatsApp group with another alleged sex assault victim who wanted to sue Manchester City, a court has heard.

The woman has alleged she was raped by Mendy, 28, three times at his home in October 2020 when she was aged 20, after going back to his house with other women following a Sunday evening drinking session in a nearby bar.

Another complainant, aged 24 at the time, alleges that three months later, on January 2 2021, Mendy sexually assaulted her by grabbing her groin over her clothing at a party at his mansion, The Spinney, in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire.

Prosecutors allege Mendy is a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game”.

Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy at Chester Crown Court
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy at Chester Crown Court (David Rawcliffe/PA)

Under cross-examination by Eleanor Laws QC, representing Mendy, the rape complainant denied trying to “minimise” knowing the other woman, saying they had a mutual friend and telling police in a statement: “I think I may have met her once but cannot be sure.”

She told the jury at Chester Crown Court she reported her rape allegation to police in November 2020 and found out about the groping allegation by the other woman in February 2021 and had to take two months off work due to the trauma of reliving her own experience.

The other complainant then went to police shortly after the two women were in contact in the February.

Ms Laws said: “After she found out about each other’s allegations she goes to police two days later.

“Has she ever discussed with you because of what happened, she wanted to sue Manchester City for what happened to her?”

The woman replied: “I don’t remember.”

The witness said she did not remember both of them being part of a WhatsApp group with the title “Sunday Shlagggs” but conceded they had both been with other girls on an overnight trip to Wales.

She denied trying to “exaggerate and lie” about what had happened between her and Mendy.

Ms Laws continued: “Had you persuaded yourself that it was Mr Mendy that had done something wrong that night and not something entirely consensual?”

The witness replied: “I’m absolutely certain I did not give consent.”

Ms Laws added: “What happened in that room with Mr Mendy, in drink, is you did things you regretted and were embarrassed about the next day?”

“Absolutely not,” the witness replied.

Mendy denies eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against seven young women.

Louis Saha Matturie at Chester Crown Court
Louis Saha Matturie at Chester Crown Court (David Rawcliffe/PA)

Co-accused Louis Saha Matturie, 41, the footballer’s friend and fixer, allegedly had the job of finding young women for sex.

Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight young women.

Both men say if any sex did take place it was consensual.

In re-examination, Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, asked the woman why she decided to go to the police and go through with a prosecution of Mendy.

She replied: “The main reason was I just did not want to be here any more.

“That’s a really scary thought for me to have because I have got really good friends and a really good job, but I couldn’t carry on not being myself.

“If someone just listened and it’s out of me, then I can try to carry on.

“I didn’t want to live a life where pretty much I didn’t want to be here anymore.

“I didn’t want to do that to my family or my sister.”

The trial was adjourned until Monday.