Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman by order of a judge at his Chester Crown trial.
The other defendants, Luis Saha Matori, 41, were also acquitted of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault on the same woman after the prosecution did not present any other evidence against the defendants on these four charges.
Matori wiped tears from his eyes as he stood in the dock and the chief jury at Chester Crown Court delivered the formal not-guilty verdicts, as directed by the judge.
Judge Stephen Everett warned the jury to speculate on why the prosecution decided not to pursue convictions for the charges in question and to continue to “faithfully” try the defendants on the multiple charges they still face.
Earlier, jurors were told of a private video of the woman having “passionate sex” with Matori, when she claimed she was raped.
The court heard the 20-minute mobile video recording by Matori on 1 August last year, a week after the two men allegedly raped the same woman on the same night the previous weekend at the footballer’s mansion in Priestbury, Cheshire.
The woman had told a jury that Matori sexually assaulted her a second time in an apartment in Salford on 1 August last year, after she rallied at Manchester’s China White nightclub.
Chester Crown Court, defending Matori, Lisa Wilding KC, heard that what happened between them was “consensual, will and ardent” sex, not rape.
The woman denied this, claiming that the incident left her feeling “ashamed and disgusted”.
Ms. Wilding continued: “When you and he had sex…you and he filmed that sex. You know and we’ve had a discussion beforehand, the words are, ‘Let’s make our own little movie.'”
The witness replied, “No, I will not.”
“His phone was right in front of you the whole time and he was having sex,” Ms Fielding added.
The woman replied: I did not know that.
More than once, said Mrs. Wilding, “you have looked directly into the camera, amused by what you have been doing?”
And the woman who cried her tears replied, “No.”
Ms. Wilding continued: “The sex took about 20 minutes. You first had sex on your knees. Then you gave him oral sex, and you’re looking at the camera.”
“Then she sat on top of him, flying around and smiling at the camera?”
The woman replied, “No.”
Well, then said Mrs. Wilding, “I will ask you to take a look at some pictures.”
Then the hearing was adjourned and when the court resumed after lunchtime, Attorney General Timothy Cray QC told the court that the prosecution was not now seeking guilty verdicts for alleged sex crimes involving the 19-year-old complainant.
The jury was then directed to acquit the accused.
The rape charge against Mendy was dropped a week before the Matori incident when the woman alleged that she woke up at Mindy’s home to find the 28-year-old footballer raped her.
On the same night, July 24 last year, the court heard that Matori raped her according to DNA evidence, but she “doesn’t remember” it. This number has also been dropped.
Prosecutors alleged that Mindy was a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game.”
Mendy still faces seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexually assaulting six young women.
Matori, the soccer player’s friend and fixer, allegedly had a job searching for young women for sex.
Matori of Eccles, Salford, continues to deny six counts of rape and three counts of sexually assaulting seven girls.
Both men say that if any sex takes place with women or girls, it is consensual.
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday morning.