Affaire Benjamin Mendy : ce que l’on sait des accusations de viols contre le footballeur, jugé en Angleterre

Affaire Benjamin Mendy : ce que l'on sait des accusations de viols contre le footballeur, jugé en Angleterre

A chilling presentation. British prosecutor Timothy Cray made a detailed account of the charges of sexual violence against Benjamin Mendy on Monday, August 15. The French soccer player appears since August 10 before a court in Chester, in the north of England, for eight charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault on seven women. The reported events range from October 2018 to August 2021. Benjamin Mendy appears alongside Louis Saha Matturie, 41, accused of eight rapes and four sexual assaults committed between July 2012 and August 2021.

“The case is simple”prosecutor Timothy Cray told the jury. “It has nothing to do with football. In fact, it is another chapter in a very old story: men who rape and assault women because they think they have power and because they think they will get away with it.” The two men, presented by the prosecutor as “predators willing to commit serious sexual abuse”They plead not guilty to the charges for which they are being prosecuted.

Women “vulnerable, terrified and isolated”, according to the prosecution

Before the jury, the prosecutor went into detail about the charges against Benjami, Mendy. The footballer is accused of raping and assaulting seven women “vulnerable, terrified and isolated”, between October 2018 and August 2021, in the words of the magistrate. Some “they were drunk and remembered little or nothing, or were sleeping, or waking up”the prosecutor added.

Timothy Cray notably echoed the testimony of one of the seven victims. She says that she expressed her refusal to have sex on several occasions while she was in the private movie theater of the player’s residence. The victim “She kept making it clear that she didn’t want to have sex while he was raping her”the magistrate added.

During this hearing day, the jurors also heard the story of the night from July 23 to 24, 2021, where Benjamin Mendy had organized a party around his pool, before going to a Manchester nightclub. The athlete is accused of having committed three rapes during this evening: one at his home and two at the disco. One of the complainants, then drunk, reports that she was found on a sofa, face down, with her arms behind her back. She claims that Benjamin Mendy told her not to move while he raped her.

The other defendant accused of “finding young women”

The prosecutor also returned to the links between the two defendants. Louis Saha Matturie, implicated in eight rapes and four sexual assaults, is described as close to the footballer, whose role is close to that of a scalper. Still according to the prosecutor, he was in charge of “to find young women and create situations where they can be raped and sexually assaulted.”

At the time of the events described, the footballer knew “a period of success” and I enjoyed a “privileged life”Timothy Cray said. “The doors of restaurants and nightclubs were opened to him, people wanted to be with him” and Louis Saha Maturie “I was part of this world, contacting the girls, calling them”, he described. For the magistrate, the two men “They knew very well what they were doing” and were “ready to cross the line” consent “and again”.

“Panic Rooms” in the player’s mansion

In most of the victims’ accounts, the sexual violence took place behind closed doors at Benjamin Mendy’s home in Prestbury, in the county of Cheshire, north-west England. The soccer player’s house is presented as a particularly isolated mansion, which makes “integral part of how the defendants took control of the victims”the prosecutor said.

As reported by guardian (link in english), two women said Benjamin Mendy raped them in rooms they thought were locked. And for good reason, various parts of the building were equipped with a special locking mechanism that transformed them into “Panic Room” in case of theft. “The locks do cause panic (…) because you can’t get in from the outside, but you can open them from the inside if you know how to do it”describes Timothy Cray, while videos filmed at the soccer player’s house by the police showing this blocking system were broadcast.

Laptops confiscated from some victims

The prosecutor also revealed that some of the complainants had their phones confiscated when they arrived at Benjamin Mendy’s. A confiscation justified by the need to protect the image of the athlete on social networks, which would have deprived the young women of any means of communication, in a mansion that was already particularly isolated.

The account of the night of October 11, 2020 made by the prosecutor supports this observation. After a night out in a bar in Alderley Edge, two friends meet at the footballer’s house and are asked to put down their phones, but one of them is caught texting. Benjamin Mendy would have then confiscated the device, recounts The team. The complainant, who claims to have repeatedly expressed her rejection of any sexual act, says that she was later raped when she tried to retrieve her phone. “In our time, no one can ignore that no means no”he insisted on recalling Timothy Cray to the jury.

The trial, which began on August 10, should establish the responsibilities of the two men and should last more than three months. Benjamin Mendy faces life in prison.

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