L’Équipe report this morning that Benjamin Mendy is set to make an appearance in court today, during which the date of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault is expected to be set.
The Frenchman has been provisionally detained at HMP Altcourse in Liverpool since his arrest at the end of August, in the Melling block for “vulnerable prisoners” suspected or convicted of crimes of a sexual nature.
The World Cup winner is accused on four counts of rape – three instances last October and another in August – and one of sexual assault at the start of January. The Cheshire police have indicated that the events are said to have taken place at his home in Prestbury and involved three plaintiffs aged over 16, including a 17-year-old.
Mendy was arrested in November 2020, and again in January, but released on parole. The defender is accused of breaking the conditions set in his release, which included a ban from holding parties at his house.
L’Équipe have reached out to the player’s agent Meïssa N’diaye, who directed them to the law firm Hickman & Rose, the player’s legal advisers. The London-based firm are also the representatives of the family of Emiliano Sala, another client of N’diaye’s before he tragically lost his life when his private flight fell over the English Channel in 2019. A solicitor of the firm declined to make any comments on the case due to the ongoing legal proceedings, but confirmed that she would be present at today’s hearing.
Mendy’s neighbours have indicated that the 27-year-old often holds parties, “several times a week and with lots of alcohol”, “with different girls, who come and go”. The Frenchman is said to have held a large-scale fireworks display on New Years’ Eve, while last year also saw the Frenchman have his Lamborghini seized after pleading guilty to driving without a licence or insurance.
Today’s court appearance will occur at 2pm local time, consisting of a “plea and trial preparation hearing”, which will establish whether the left-back pleads guilty or not guilty. Should he deny the accusations, Mendy will be given the date of his future trial, should the magistrate have enough information to be able to set one.