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Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy labeled as 'predator', rape trial begins
London, Aug 15 - The trial of Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy began on Monday, with the footballer accused of eight counts of rape. The French soccer player was described by the prosecutors as a 'predator' who could not take no for an answer.
He is alleged to have committed the offenses against seven young women between October 2018 and August last year, however, he denies the charges. He also has been accused of one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault.
Mendy, 28, is also accused of one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He denies all charges.
Timothy Cray QC is expected to open the case for the prosecution before the jury at Chester Crown Court.
The names of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez, and John Stones, all either current or ex-Manchester City players were read to jurors last week ahead of the trial, to ensure no jurors had any personal connection to anyone who could be referred to during the trial or be called as a witness, Sky Sports reports.
Eight men and six women were sworn in to serve on the jury, including two jurors who will be discharged after the opening of the case.
Mendy, a Premier League star and France international, is alleged to have committed the offences against seven young women between October 2018 and August last year.
He will stand trial alongside co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40. Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight young women. The alleged offences span July 2012 to August last year.
According to a report by the DPA news agency, none of the women involved can be identified and reporting restrictions apply ahead of the trial. Mendy has played for Manchester City since 2017, when he joined from Monaco.
He was suspended by the club after being charged by police. Both defendants are on bail and the trial is expected to last up to 15 weeks.
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