Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has been exonerated after being found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault on Friday.
The 28-year-old was reportedly rocking back and forth with his face covered with both hands as the jury foreman delivered the verdicts, per Britain’s Press Association.
The court convened in northwest England at Chester Crown Court, where jurors could not reach verdicts on two other allegations against the French footballer — one of attempted rape and another of rape — before being discharged.
Manchester City released a short statement regarding the trial on Friday: “Manchester City FC notes the verdict from Chester Crown Court today, where a jury has found Benjamin Mendy not guilty of seven charges. The jury is hung on two charges and the trial is now over. Given there are open matters related to this case, the Club is not in a position to comment further at this time.”
Prosecutors in the case say they will seek a retrial, as the jury could not reach verdicts at the end of a months-long trial. The not-guilty verdicts read by the jury foreman relate to four young women and teenagers.
An original jury of twelve members was reduced to eleven after one juror was discharged for medical reasons. The unanimous verdicts were delivered on Wednesday by seven men and four women on the jury.
It took 14 days of deliberation for the jury, who ultimately were unable to reach verdicts in the case. Per ESPN, “The verdicts could not be reported until jurors concluded considering the remaining two counts. They were given a majority direction by the judge, meaning he would accept a 10-1 majority on any verdict.”
Benjamin Mendy had been on trial since Aug. 10 of 2022, and was accused of multiple sexual offences by 13 women. Him, along with co-accused, 41-year-old Louis Saha Matturie, denied all charges.