London (AFP) – The UK jury in the rape trial of French footballer Benjamin Mendy was on Wednesday told by one of his accusers how she had shouted ‘stop’ while trying to fight him off.
The 32-year-old woman’s recorded interview was played at Chester Crown Court in north-west England.
She recalled how the 28-year-old Manchester City player, wearing just boxer shorts, had walked in on her having a shower at his house, where she had stayed the night with one of his friends.
“I said, ‘You need to leave’,” she recalled.
“I kept pushing him away, he kept grabbing me back. I just kept trying to wriggle out.
“He got very close but I pushed him away as much as I could,” she added.
The woman, the first of seven accusers to give evidence in his trial, said in the interview that she had considered screaming, but thought “there’s no point as he’s in his own territory.”
She had stayed the night at Mendy’s home in the village of Mottram St Andrew in rural Cheshire with one of the footballer’s friends following a night out in October 2018.
She told prosecutor Timothy Cray that she had felt “out of control” during the incident.
“I kept saying, ‘stop’ and ‘no’ but that wasn’t heard.”
Mendy is facing eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women.
The Premier League star has pleaded not guilty to all the charges in a complex trial that is expected to last 15 weeks.
Cray earlier told the court that Mendy and his co-defendant, Louis Saha Matturie, were “predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences” as they pursued women.
Matturie, 40, has also pleaded not guilty to eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault.
The alleged offences by both men are said to have taken place between July 2012 and August last year, with Mendy accused of a string of sexual offences starting in October 2018.
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.
Mendy joined Premier League champions City from French side Monaco in 2017. He has played 75 times for Manchester City, but his playing time was limited by injuries and a loss of form.
He was suspended by City after being charged by police in August last year.
The last of Mendy’s 10 international caps came in November 2019. The defender picked up a World Cup winner’s medal after playing just 40 minutes of France’s successful 2018 campaign in Russia.
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