Benjamin Mendy, « un prédateur » selon le procureur

Benjamin Mendy, « un prédateur » selon le procureur

It is almost noon (French time) this Monday in Chamber 1 of the Chester court. After the introduction of the criminal jury, which took place to the left of Judge Steven Everett, it is the floor of the prosecutor Timothy Cray. In a slow, sometimes slurred voice, he turns to the jurors and begins the long reading of his opening notehis introductory summary of the case against Benjamin Mendy (age 28) and the co-defendant in this case, Louis Saha Matturie (age 41).

Before a lunch break, almost two hours later, he unfolded half of his argument, in this very media archive; About thirty journalists were also present this Monday morning, on the spartan wooden benches of the Crown Court. “This statement of objections is simple and has little to do with footballlaunched the prosecutor in preliminary. Rather, it is a new 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. »

Under the gaze of the two defendants, sitting on the “dock” and who were also handed out the indictment file, prosecutor Cray then continued his speech, getting to the heart of the matter. And evoking Louis Saha Matturie, first. The co-defendant (not related to former attacker Louis Saha) is the subject of twelve counts of sex crimes, including eight rapes. This Monday he was presented as “fixative” for the prosecution, a ” attendee “ and a ” dude “ of Mendy, who would have been in charge of “find young women and create situations where they can be raped and sexually assaulted”the prosecutor said.

A “mansion” in which one could feel “vulnerable”

Accused of eight rapes, one attempted rape and one sexual assault, Benjamin Mendy was presented, like his alleged sidekick, as a “predator” by Prosecutor Cray. The events that the Manchester City defender – suspended for almost a year by his club – is suspected of taking place at his vast home in Prestbury, Cheshire, between October 25, 2018 and August 23, 2021, is say, three days before his arrest. The native of Longjumeau (Essonne), who spent 134 days in pretrial detention, has been released on parole since January 7.

Mendy’s rural house is a “Mansion”continued the prosecutor, in which one could feel “vulnerable, scared, isolated”. A “vulnerability accentuated by other important facts you will hear about”he told the jury. how to drive “complainants in rooms they think are locked”, “the fact that some women were drunk and that the defendants wanted them to be” and the “differences in age and assets between defendants and plaintiffs”.

“Today, no one can doubt that: ”No, that means no” »

attorney timothy cray

The apparent serenity shown by Benjamin Mendy since the beginning of the trial on August 10 is no longer adequate. With his face closed, his mouth rigid, the 2018 world champion listens to the prosecutor continue his speech before the jury: “There are two important questions here that you will need to consider. What happened at Mendy’s house on the days in question? What was it about this house that made these women vulnerable? » During the hearing, a video of the different rooms of the “mansion” on the side was also broadcast on two screens. The player and his “assistant” Matturie, who pleaded not guilty to each of the charges against them, maintain that the complainants were consenting, the prosecutor recalled.

“Today, no one can doubt that: ”No, that means no” »also launched, as an echo of the social upheavals caused by the #MeToo movement. This fundamental right to say ”Nope” to sex should benefit everyone. And you don’t lose that right because you went to a bar, dressed up to go out to a club, or went to a footballer’s house. » Obviously, it is on this central issue – the consent or not of the alleged victims – that the members of the jury will have to decide and then deliver a verdict at the end of this trial, which must last fifteen weeks.

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