A British court on Friday acquitted Frenchman Benjamin Mendy, former Premier League champion Manchester City player, of two counts of rape and attempted rape.
The former France international burst into tears on Friday, after a British jury acquitted him of the charges. Mindy, 28, put his head between his knees and wiped away his tears upon hearing the verdict at the end of a 3-week trial at Chester Crown Court in northwest England.
Last January, Mindy was found not guilty of 6 counts of rape and one of sexual assault.
But the jury in the January trial was unable to reach a verdict on a seventh count of rape, and another of attempted rape, which led to a retrial.
Mendy, whose contract with Manchester City expired in June, denied all charges against him.
“Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the court for their focus on the evidence in this trial, rather than on the rumors and insinuations that have followed this case from the outset,” his lawyer said in a statement.
He added, “This is the second time that Mr Mindy has been tried and found not guilty by the bench. He is glad that the court reached the right verdict. Almost 3 years have passed since the police started investigating this case. Mr Mindy tried to stay strong but the operation inevitably had a serious impact on him.”
“He (Mindy) thanks everyone who has supported him throughout this ordeal, and now requests privacy so he can rebuild his life,” the statement added.
Mendy, 28, joined City in 2017 and was investigated by the police following allegations made by 13 women against him and his co-accused Luis Saha Matori.
Mendy’s last match with City was against Tottenham on August 15, 2021, and the club suspended him later that month following his arrest.
The French international joined City from Monaco for about 52 million pounds ($68 million).
Mendy won the English Premier League 3 times with City, although injuries reduced his participation, and the left back underwent knee surgery in the 2018-2019 season.