By Natasha Everitt
Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game”, a court has been told.
The France international appeared at Chester Crown Court on Monday for his trial for eight counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault.
Prosecutors allege Mendy showed a ‘callous indifference’ towards his accusers, who were described in court as ‘vulnerable, scared, isolated’.
The 28-year-old – a Â£52million signing for Man City who prosecutors said enjoyed a ‘privileged and moneyed lifestyle’ – is alleged to have committed the offences against seven women between October 2018 and August last year.
Opening the case against the defendant, prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told a jury panel: “The prosecution case is simple – it has little to do with football.
“Instead, we say, it is another chapter in a very old story – men who rape and sexually assault women because they think they are powerful, and because they think they can get away with it.”
Man City suspended Mendy last August after he was charged by police.
Mendy’s co-accused, Louis Saha Matturie, 40, denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault relating to eight young women.
Mr Cray told jurors that Saha, of Eccles, Salford, was Mendy’s friend and fixer, and one of his jobs was “to find young women and to create the situations where those young women could be raped and sexually assaulted”.
The prosecutor said Mendy was a “reasonably famous football player” who “because of his wealth and status, others were prepared to help him to get what he wanted”.
“Our case is that the defendants’ pursuit of these 13 women turned them into predators, who were prepared to commit serious sexual offences,” Mr Cray said.
“The acts that the defendants did together show callous indifference to the women they went after.
“In their minds, and this could not be clearer, the stream of women they brought to their homes existed purely to be pursued for sex.”
Mr Cray said “the fact they would not take ‘no’ for an answer” would be something the jurors will “hear time and time again”.
The prosecutor told jurors they will hear from 13 different women.
Both men deny all charges. The trial continues.