A woman who claims that a Premier League footballer raped her yesterday admitted she felt ‘pressured’ by police to press charges.
She said she had not initially considered her encounter with Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy, 28, to be rape and told officers she didn’t want to get involved in the case.
The woman, aged 22, is one of three who claim the French international raped them at a two-day pool party at his £4.8million mansion in Prestbury, Cheshire, last summer.
Testifying from behind a screen, she told Chester Crown Court that she was contacted by officers five months later and felt like she was ‘being dragged into the situation’ and it was the police who first called what happened to her ‘rape’.
The footballer allegedly forced himself on her during a ’20-second’ attack, which left her feeling ‘dirty and ashamed’. She told the court: ‘I felt the word rape meant like a stranger or in an alleyway. But he was my friend and it was his house.’
She added: ‘It was not any different to what I had experienced before. I felt there was pressure on me but boys can be quite pressuring.’
She accepted that before giving her police interview she had Googled: ‘How much is Benjamin Mendy worth?’ and that she kept in touch with him on social media following the alleged rape.
She also agreed that there was a group of people, including some of the alleged victims, known as ‘the Manchester circle’ in the city’s clubs.
She claimed that after Mendy’s arrest, his co-accused and alleged ‘fixer’, Louis Saha Matturie, 41, messaged her: ‘Ben’s done a lot of crazy stuff.’
Mendy denies eight counts of rape, one of attempted rape and one of sexual assault. Saha, of Eccles, Greater Manchester, denies eight rapes and four sex assaults.
The trial continues.