Footballer Benjamin Mendy cleared of six counts of rape

A jury in the UK on Friday cleared Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault against four women, following a six-month trial.

The seven men and four women on the panel failed to reach verdicts on a seventh charge of rape and one of attempted rape.

Prosecutors said afterwards they would seek a retrial on those counts.

“We have made a decision today, which is to proceed on these counts in two separate trials,” prosecutor Matthew Conway told Chester Crown Court.

Mendy, 28, who denied all nine counts involving six women, covered his face with both hands, gently rocking back and forth, as the verdicts were delivered.

Jenny Wiltshire, of Mendy’s lawyers Hickman & Rose, said the footballer was “delighted that he has been unanimously acquitted” of most of the charges he faced.

“He looks forward to clearing his name in relation to the other two charges so he can start rebuilding his life,” she added.

Judge Steven Everett immediately set a new trial start date of June 26 for the two counts on which the jury did not return a verdict.

“It is not unusual that jurors don’t reach verdicts on some counts. You have to be true to your duty,” Everett said as he thanked them and excused them from any future jury service for seven years.

The jury, which began hearing the case last August, had been deliberating since early December, with an extended break over the Christmas and new year holiday period.

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