Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy has been found not guilty of one count of rape on the direction of the judge at his trial.
At Chester Crown Court, Mr. Mendy, 28, was exonerated of raping a 19-year-old lady on July 24, 2017, at his Prestbury, Cheshire, home.
Also found not guilty of two counts of rape against the same lady was co-accused Louis Saha Matturie, 41.
However, they both continue to be on trial for what are allegedly sexual offenses.
On Tuesday, after the prosecution presented no additional evidence and formal not guilty verdicts were entered, Judge Stephen Everett instructed the jury to acquit the defendants on those counts.
He had warned jurors not to speculate as to why the prosecution had decided not to pursue guilty verdicts and to continue to “faithfully” try the defendants on the multiple charges they still face.
He had also cautioned the jury to continue “faithfully” trying the defendants on the numerous accusations they still face and to refrain from making assumptions about why the prosecution chose not to pursue convictions.
A private video of the woman engaging in “enthusiastic sex” with Mr. Matturie during the time she claimed to have been raped was previously shown to the jury.
Prosecutors informed the court that they were no longer seeking convictions for suspected sexual offenses involving the 19-year-old complainant when the hearing was resumed after the break.
The event with Mr. Matturie, in which the woman claimed she awoke to find the footballer raping her, was the subject of the rape case against Mr. Mendy that was later abandoned.
Seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, and one count of sexual assault against six young women remain against Mr. Mendy.
According to the prosecution, Mr. Mendy “made the pursuit of women for sex into a game” and was a “predator.”
It is reported that Mr. Matturie, the footballer’s friend and fixer, was in charge of locating young women for sex.
In relation to seven young women, he denies three counts of sexual assault and six counts of rape.
If any sexual activity did occur with women or girls, both men claimed it was consensual.
The trial continues.