Former Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been cleared of raping a young woman and trying to rape another.
Mendy, 28, broke down in tears as the two not guilty verdicts were delivered by the jury foreman following a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court.
The French international footballer and World Cup winner had faced a lengthy jail sentence if convicted.
Jurors found him not guilty of both charges following around three hours and 15 minutes of deliberations.
He was cleared of attacking a 24-year-old woman at The Spinney, his £4.2million mansion in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, in October 2020.
And the jury also found him not guilty of the second charge, the attempted rape of a 29-year-old woman also at his home two years before.
Mendy told the jury of six women and six men, that any sexual activity was consensual.
Trial Judge Stephen Everett, the Recorder of Chester, thanked jurors after discharging Mendy from the dock.
Mendy was on trial for a second time, the jury failing to reach verdicts on the allegations made by the two women.
In his first trial, lasting six months and ending in January, he was cleared of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, relating to four other young women or teenagers.
Benjamin Aina KC, prosecuting, told the jury in the re-trial Mendy enjoyed parties at his home and on two occasions “took advantage” of his female guests and his wealth and celebrity status turned him into a man not used to being told “No”, by women.
The first complainant, woman A, a 29-year-old student, first met Mendy while in a nightclub in Barcelona in late 2017 and she became intimate with one of his friends.
They kept in touch and a year later she arranged to visit Mendy’s friend at the footballer’s house, where they stayed after they all went with other girls for a night out.
The morning after, when she took a shower in the en-suite bathroom, Mendy appeared uninvited, wearing just boxer shorts, and holding himself, visibly “aroused” she told the jury.
The verdicts were returned at Chester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)
Mendy is then alleged to have grabbed the woman and tried to rape her on the bed as she tried to struggle free, despite her repeatedly telling him to stop.
Mendy told the jury the two were “flirting” during the night out and the next morning he went to her room and they began hugging on a bed.
He said she told him she would not have sex with him because she was with his friend.
Mendy said she then got upset when he told her he had already asked his friend who had told him it would be “OK”.
He denied trying to rape her.
Two years later, woman B, aged 24, was out with friends at a bar in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, near Mendy’s home, when they were invited back to the footballer’s house.
She alleges Mendy took her phone from her, which contained “intimate” photos, then led her to his locked bedroom, as she asked for her phone back.
Mendy was alleged to have told her “I just wanna have a look at you” and told her to take her clothes off.
Woman B complied, leaving her underwear on, and Mendy then threw her phone on the bed.
As she went to retrieve it, Mendy was alleged to have taken hold of her from behind and raped her despite her telling him she did not want to have sex.
The woman said afterwards Mendy said to her: “You’re too shy. It’s fine. I’ve had sex with 10,000 women.”
Mendy told the jury the woman had agreed to “play around” on the bed and denied raping her saying afterwards they swapped details to connect on Snapchat.
Mr Aina, prosecuting, claimed Mendy was not used to women saying no to him.
He said: “You wanted women who came to your house to party, get drunk and have sex?”
Mendy replied: “If they want.
“I will never force to have sex with a woman.”
In a statement, Mendy’s lawyer, Jenny Wiltshire, said: “Benjamin Mendy would like to thank the members of the jury for focusing on the evidence in this trial, rather than on the rumour and innuendo that have followed this case from the outset.
“This is the second time that Mr Mendy has been tried and found not guilty by a jury. He is delighted that both juries reached the correct verdicts.
“It has been almost three years since the police started investigating this matter. Mr Mendy has tried to remain strong but the process has, inevitably had a serious impact on him.
“He thanks everyone who has supported him throughout this ordeal and now asks for privacy so he can begin rebuilding his life.”