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    Man City’s Mendy goes on trial for rape, sexual assault

    CHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy yesterday began his trial for the alleged rape and assault of seven women, which could see his playing career end in jail if convicted.

    Mendy, 28, arrived at Chester Crown Court in northwest England wearing a dark blue suit and tie to face eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women.

    Flanked by an interpreter in the dock, the French player spoke in English to confirm his identity.

    Benjamin Mendy arrives at the Chester Crown Court. PHOTO: AFP

    He pleaded not guilty in May to nine of the charges, and not guilty yesterday to a subsequent rape count that had not yet been put to him in court.

    All the alleged offences are said to have taken place at Mendy’s home address in Prestbury near Macclesfield, also in northwest England, between October 2018 and August last year.

    He is standing trial before a jury along with his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who has also pleaded not guilty.

    Matturie denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women. His alleged offences span from July 2012 to August last year.

    Both the defendants are on bail, with Mendy subject to what a judge previously called “stringent” conditions, including the surrender of his passport.

    After his arrest last August he was initially held at Altcourse prison in Liverpool, and then a prison in Manchester, before being freed on bail in January.

    The trial is due to last 15 weeks, with the prosecution set to open its case on Monday.

    None of the women said to have been assaulted can be named under English law, which also places restrictions on what can be reported about the case. It begins in the same week that former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs started his trial on charges of assaulting and coercively controlling his ex-girlfriend.

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