Benjamin Mendy finds new club after being cleared of rape charges

FOOTBALL Benjamin Mendy finds new club after being cleared of rape charges

Mark Kinyanjui 12:38 - 19.07.2023

The left-back secures an immediate return to his football career, just five days after he was cleared of rape.

Benjamin Mendy has made an instant return to football just five days after being cleared of rape and attempted rape, with the former Manchester City defender joining French club Lorient.

Mendy, 28, was accused of carrying out sex attacks on two women at his £4 million mansion, only to be cleared after three hours of deliberation by a jury.

The France international had already been cleared of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault after a court case in January.

And five days after being cleared as a free man, Mendy has already returned to football after signing with Lorient.

In a club statement on Wednesday, the Ligue 1 outfit confirmed he has put pen to paper on a two-year contract and will wear the number 5 shirt. 

Mendy was first arrested in November 2020 after a young woman accused him of raping her a few weeks earlier after she met him in a bar in Alderley Edge, alongside the England player Jesse Lingard.

Mendy was released under investigation and then arrested again on 4 January 2021 after a second woman reported him to the police, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at a party at his home on 2 January 2021.

He was bailed on the condition that he did not hold parties at his home and continued to play for Manchester City. Yet the court heard that he continued to invite women back to his mansion after nights out in Manchester. Asked why he ignored his bail conditions, Mendy said it was because he did not think he had done anything wrong.

It was during one such afterparty, on 23 August 2021, that the 17-year-old accused him of rape. She went to the police shortly afterwards and Mendy was charged on 26 August and remanded to prison. It was only then that he was suspended and put on unpaid leave by Manchester City. Until then, the club had paid his wages, estimated at £90,000 a week.

Talking in strongly accented English, Mendy said he began to receive attention from women when he was 18 and playing for Marseille, which became “10 times more” intense when he joined Manchester City.

He acknowledged that women were attracted to him because of his job. “The way they came to me, it’s not because of my look, it’s because of football,” he said.