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Monday, October 3, 2022

Benjamin Mendy: Accuser Says Footballer Threatened to Kidnap her

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A woman who accused Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy of attempted rape said she thought he was joking when he told her “I’m going to kidnap you”, a jury heard.

Mr Mendy, 28, is accused of eight counts of rape, one of attempted rape and one of sexual assault.

Chester Crown Court heard the woman, then aged 29, describe “trying to push him off” while he “kept pulling me down” in the alleged attack in 2018.

Mr Mendy denies all charges.

In a police interview played to the jury, the woman said she first met Mr Mendy in a club in Barcelona in October 2017.

She told the officer she liked one of his friends, who she said was part of his “entourage”, but Mr Mendy took a liking to her.

She said she had “sporadic contact” with the player’s friend over the next year before he invited her to stay in what she thought was Manchester, but turned out to be the footballer’s rural Cheshire home, on 24 October 2018.

‘Come back here’

They went to a restaurant in Manchester, before being joined by two girls, and the group then went to two nightclubs where they took part in drinking games, the court heard.

The jury was told Mr Mendy approached her while she was with the player’s friend in the second club.

“He came up to me and said ‘when he’s not looking, I’m going to kidnap you’,” she said.

She said she “thought he was joking” and “made it clear” she was interested in his friend.

They returned to Mr Mendy’s house and she spent the night in a bedroom with his friend, the court heard.

The next morning, she went downstairs to look for a phone charger and Mr Mendy was sat on a settee.

“When he saw me, he said ‘come back here’,” she said.

She said she declined Mr Mendy’s offer to go to his bedroom to get a charger, but he began “teasing” her.

She returned to the bedroom she was staying in, closed the door and got in the shower.

She said she then saw Mr Mendy enter “in the corner of my eye”.

“He walked in and out of shock, I said ‘you need to leave’,” she said.

“I saw him hold himself in his private area.”

‘Kept saying no’

The woman said she wrapped a towel around herself and grabbed some underwear, but Mr Mendy snatched it from her.

“He just did not want me to have clothes,” she said.

“He kept obstructing me. I kept pushing him away, he kept grabbing me back.”

She said Mr Mendy then “sat on the bed and put me on top of him”.

“I just kept trying to push him off. He kept pulling me down. We fell… that’s when he took off his boxers,” she said.

She added that she pushed him away as much as she could, but felt “out of control”.

“I kept saying ‘stop’ and ‘no’, but that wasn’t heard,” she said.

“I just kept thinking ‘where are his friends? Why are they not here? Should I scream? What am I going to do?’

“I pretty much landed myself in that situation, because I shouldn’t have gone up [to Manchester].”

She told the police officer she could not remember how the incident ended, but she packed her clothes, got dressed and left the house to call a taxi.

Earlier, Timothy Cray QC, prosecuting, read some agreed facts, which are not in contention between defence and prosecution, based on notes made by the woman’s GP.

He said in August 2021, she described feeling “low and anxious” because something had been made public and later told her doctor she had not had sex since 2018 when she was sexually assaulted, adding that it was related to the current news stories about Mr Mendy.

Her GP suggested she speak to police, but the woman said she did not want to at that time.

The court then heard that on 13 January, she attended a police station in London to make a report but she was reluctant to give any personal details because she was “worried about media interest”.

Officers persuaded her to make a formal complaint and she told them about the alleged attack, naming Mr Mendy as the person responsible.

Mr Mendy, of Prestbury, Cheshire, is on trial alongside co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 41.

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

Both Mr Mendy and Mr Matturie deny all the charges against them.

The trial continues.

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