The Manchester Metropolis footballer Benjamin Mendy raped girls in “panic rooms” in his remoted mansion from which they believed they may not escape, a court docket has heard.
The 28-year-old French worldwide defender abused his wealth and fame to lure girls again to his gated Cheshire dwelling and rape them once they both stated no or have been too drunk to consent, a jury at Chester crown court docket heard on Monday.
The court docket heard he met lots of the girls in Manchester nightclubs, usually with the assistance of his “fixer”, Louis Saha Matturie, 41, referred to as Saha, who’s on trial alongside him charged with a number of counts of rape and sexual assault.
The pair are accused of exhibiting “callous indifference” to the 13 younger girls they allegedly attacked. The sexual conquest of younger girls turned “a sport”, the court docket heard.
Opening the case, the prosecutor, Timothy Cray, instructed the jury Mendy was a “fairly well-known” footballer on the time of the offences, having gained the World Cup with the French nationwide group. “Today fame brings consideration. Fame additionally brings cash. And due to this, Mendy’s wealth and standing, others have been ready to assist him to get what he wished,” stated Cray.
Certainly one of Saha’s jobs was “to seek out younger girls and to create the conditions the place these younger girls may very well be raped and sexually assaulted”, Cray added.
In July 2021, Saha provided to pay a lady to attend a celebration at Mendy’s dwelling with a buddy – as a substitute of working a shift at a nightclub, the court docket heard. The girl later instructed police Mendy raped her in his cinema room with out utilizing a condom. Two of Mendy’s associates blocked her buddy when she went to search for her, the jury was instructed.
Mendy and Saha had a joint function, the court docket heard. “These girls have been disposable: issues for use for intercourse, then thrown to 1 facet,” Cray stated.
Two of the ladies instructed police they have been “handed between” each males at Mendy’s multimillion-pound mansion, the place he held pool events. One was so drunk she solely came upon each males had had intercourse along with her when semen from every was present in her knickers, the court docket heard.
5 stated they have been raped or sexually assaulted solely by Mendy and 6 solely by Saha. The lads deny all 22 prices introduced in opposition to them.
The alleged offences by Mendy are stated to have taken place at his gated mansion within the hamlet of Mottram St Andrew, close to Macclesfield, between October 2018 and 2021. The closest village, Prestbury, was a 15-minute stroll alongside an unlit nation lane, the jury heard.
A number of the girls instructed police that they had their telephones taken off them on arrival. Ostensibly this was to guard Mendy and others from undesirable social media intrusion – “I think about that Mendy didn’t need Pep Guardiola to see him out late on Instagram with a load of women,” stated Cray – however it additionally left them unable to name for assist.
One of many girls, described by Cray as “the alternative of a soccer groupie”, stated Mendy tried to rape her after she went to his home to satisfy one other footballer.
One other instructed detectives she was on her interval when Mendy raped her. One girl, who accuses each males of rape, was 17 on the time. One, the court docket heard, was sexually assaulted when “kind of minding her personal enterprise in Mendy’s kitchen”.
Two of the ladies stated Mendy raped them in rooms they believed to be locked. The jury was proven video footage of a police officer demonstrating the locks on the doorways, as Cray defined they have been legitimately utilized by rich people.
“The logic is that in case you are more likely to be a goal for burglars, the locks in impact create a panic room which you could’t get in from the surface, however you possibly can open them from the within if what to do. The purpose is that you must know the right way to open them from the within, and also you’ll maybe see how the witnesses might need gotten the impression … that they’re locked in,” stated Cray.
Each males knew what they have been doing, Cray stated. “They weren’t in some completely happy state of sexual ignorance about how this all works – they knew very properly what they have been doing. They turned the pursuit of girls for intercourse right into a sport, in impact, and if girls obtained damage or distressed – too dangerous. Make it go away.”
He added: “At the moment, nobody can doubt, can they, to make use of the frequent saying, that ‘no means no’? That’s now not some kind of gray space, or some kind of an open door for a person to push by way of regardless … You don’t lose that proper since you’ve been to a bar or dressed for a nightclub or gone to a footballer’s home and you’re partying.”
The prosecutor instructed the jury the defendants have been more likely to argue that the ladies alleging rape and sexual assault “consented to intercourse willingly, usually enthusiastically”, stated Cray.
The trial continues.