Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy raped women in locked “panic rooms” at his isolated mansion they thought they couldn’t escape from, a court has heard.
The 28-year-old French international defender abused his wealth and fame to lure women into his locked home in Cheshire and rape them when they said no or were too drunk to consent, a jury in crown court heard on Monday. from Chester.
The court heard that he found many of the women in Manchester nightclubs, often with the help of their “fixer”, a 41-year-old man named Louis Saha Matturie, known as Saha, who is being tried alongside the accused. multiple counts of rape. and sexual assault.
The pair are accused of displaying “callous indifference” towards the 13 young women they allegedly attacked. The sexual conquest of young women became “a game,” the court heard.
Opening the case, prosecutor Timothy Cray told the jury that Mendy was a “reasonably famous” footballer at the time of the crimes.
“He had a contract with Man City and was a World Cup winner with the French team,” Cray said. “And these days fame commands attention. Fame also brings money. And because of this, Mendy’s wealth and status, others were prepared to help him get what he wanted.”
One of Saha’s jobs was “to find young women and create situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted,” Cray added.
The men had a common purpose, the court heard. “In their minds, and we say this couldn’t be clearer, the stream of women they brought into their homes existed for them solely to be pursued for sex,” Cray added.
Two of the women told police they were “passed between” both men at parties at Mendy’s multimillion-dollar mansion. Five said they were raped or sexually assaulted solely by Mendy and six solely by Saha. The men deny all 22 charges against them.
The alleged crimes committed by Mendy are said to have taken place at his gated mansion in the village of Mottram St Andrew, near Macclesfield, between October 2018 and 2021. The nearest town, Prestbury, was a 15-minute walk away down a lane. rural without lighting, the jury heard.
“It was isolated, about 17 miles south of central Manchester as the crow flies, but if you got there and you’d never been there and the big old doors closed behind you, you may have felt vulnerable. Cray told the jury, before showing them drone footage of the semi-rural location.
One of the complainants had to ask the housekeeper to let her out through the closed doors of the mansion after her alleged ordeal, the jury heard.
Some of the women told police their phones were taken from them when they arrived. This was apparently to protect Mendy and others from unwanted intrusion on social media, but it also left them unable to ask for help, the court heard.
One of the women said she had gone to Mendy’s house to meet another man and made it clear she was not there to have sex with the footballer, but he tried to rape her anyway, the court heard.
Another told detectives she was on her period when she was raped. One woman, who accuses both men of rape, was 17 at the time. One, the court heard, was sexually assaulted when “more or less minding his own business in Mendy’s kitchen.”
Two of the women said Mendy raped them in closed rooms: an office and the master bedroom. The jury was shown video footage showing a police officer demonstrating the door locks, as Cray explained that they were legitimately used by wealthy individuals.
“The logic is that if you’re likely to be a target for thieves, the locks in effect create a panic room that you can’t get into from the outside, but you can open it from the inside if you know what to do. The thing is, you have to know how to open them from the inside, and maybe you see how witnesses may have gotten the impression… that they’re locked in,” Cray said.
Both men knew what they were doing, Cray said. “They weren’t in a blissful state of sexual ignorance about how this all works, they knew very well what they were doing. They turned finding women for sex into a game, in effect, and if women were hurt or distressed, too bad. Make him go away.”
He added: “In this day and age, no one can doubt, can they, to use the common saying, that ‘no means no.’ That is no longer a kind of gray area, or a kind of open door for a man to push through despite everything… Nowadays, no one can doubt, you don’t lose that right because you’ve been in a bar. or you dress up for a disco or you went to a footballer’s house and you’re partying”.
The prosecutor told the jury that the defendants were likely to argue that the women alleging rape and sexual assault “voluntarily consented to sex, often enthusiastically,” Cray said.
The trial continues.