Elite soccer player's trial alleges he and 'fixer' raped women in 'panic rooms' as part of SICK GAME
Premier League star Benjamin Mendy and defendant Louis Saha Matturie are both on trial for eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual abuse
CHESTER, ENGLAND: Premier League star Benjamin Mendy, 28, stood trial on August 15 along with co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, in charge of eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault. A court heard that two of the women who accused Man City star Mendy of sexually assaulting them said he locked them in ''panic rooms'' for the attacks. He allegedly forced himself on the couple in the master bedroom and the downstairs office, according to the pair, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Both had a special locking mechanism that created a ''panic room'' in the event of a burglary that could only be opened from the inside, not the outside. Mendy and his co-accused were previously told in court that they ''turned the pursuit of victims for sex into a game,'' crossing the line of consent ''over and over.'' On Monday, August 15, it was revealed that the case was about "men who rape and sexually assault women because they believe they are powerful and can get away with it," Daily Mail reported.
Some of the victims, as young as 17, had their phones confiscated when they visited Mendy's Cheshire mansion. Mendy, according to two of the alleged victims, used the same line on them, insisting, "I just want to see you naked." They claim he went above and beyond and assaulted them. Mendy, 28, a football star accused of being a "predator" with "callous indifference," denied eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, and one count of sexual assault.
The Premier League star and France international is accused of committing crimes against the women at his residence between October 2018 and August of last year. At lunchtime, the jury was shown a video tour of his former The Spinney mansion, which included a swimming pool, a Jaws-style mural, and a gym with paintings of Mendy and his name all over the walls.
He is on trial with co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who has also pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is said to be a fixer who assisted in the discovery of the women. Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault against eight young women. The alleged offences occurred between July 2012 and August of last year.
Opening the case prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told the jury, ''The case is simple. Actually, this case has little to do with football. It is another chapter in a very old story: men who rape and sexually assault women, because they think they are powerful, and because they think they can get away with it. They knew very well what they were doing. They turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game. They were prepared to cross that line over and over again. That was the effect of their game. To them these women were disposable things to be used for sex and thrown to one side".
"Central to the case is Mendy's home at the time. We say Mendy's house is part and parcel of how the defendants gained control of the victims. It's a mansion. But more importantly, it was isolated, as so many of the victims thought. On occasions when they got there, the victims had their phones taken from them. Some of the complainants were taken to rooms which were locked," he added.
Cray told the jury that Saha, of Eccles, Salford, was Mendy's friend and fixer, and that one of his tasks was to ''find young women and create situations in where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted.'' According to the prosecutor, Mendy was a "reasonably famous football player" who ''because of his wealth and status, others were prepared to help him to get what he wanted''.
The prosecutor said Mendy and Saha said in ''broad terms'' that all the women consented to sex, willingly with only a couple of allegations where there is a denial that anything sexual happened. Cray added, ''Ultimately, these cases are about where the line is drawn. You will be able to weigh up whether, in each case, the defendants crossed those lines because this is central, readily understandable life experience - you will know where the truth is after having heard the women concerned, the challenges to them and the other evidence that is relevant to the allegations in the charges.''
The names of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez, and John Stones, all current or former Manchester City players, were read to jurors last week. Judge Steven Everett, honorary recorder of Chester, wanted to ensure that no jurors had any personal ties to anyone who might be mentioned during the trial or called as a witness. Last week, Judge Everett told the jury, ''Maybe you have heard their names. Some of you will be aware of the fact Mr Mendy is a professional footballer who plays football for Manchester City.'' Both defendants are out on bail, and the trial could last up to 15 weeks. None of the women involved in the allegations can be identified, and there are reporting restrictions in place ahead of the trial. Eight men and six women were sworn in to serve on the jury.
Judge Everett also told the jury, "There are 22 counts or charges, if you are feeling overwhelmed by that I can assure you will be having a lot of assistance on how you will approach that". "Don't feel daunted or overwhelmed by that. This trial could go through to November.''