Manchester City‘s French international Benjamin Mendy, charged with rape and sexual assault, has been released on bail by a court in northwest England.
The 27-year-old fullback is facing seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault for attacking five women between October 2020 and August 2021. He has been in custody since being arrested and charged on August 26 last year.
Mendy was granted bail by Judge Patrick Thompson at a hearing at Chester Crown Court on “stringent” conditions, including the surrender of his passport, news agency AFP reported.
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Mendy was due to stand trial for his charges in January 2022 but the date has been pushed back to June at the earliest. The 2018 World Cup winner is due to appear in court again on January 24.
Mendy, who lives in a mansion reportedly worth £5 million in Prestbury near Macclesfield, joined Manchester City from Monaco in a £52 million (€70 million) deal in 2017 after impressing at the French side that ousted the Citizens from the Champions League earlier that year – Pep Guardiola’s first in England.
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He has played 75 times for the reigning English champions, but his time at the Etihad has been blighted with injuries and a subsequent loss of form.
He won the 2018 World Cup with France, with the last of his 10 appearance for the national side coming in November 2019.
City have suspended Mendy pending the outcome of the trial.
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“Manchester City can confirm that, following his being charged by police, Benjamin Mendy has been suspended pending an investigation. The matter is subject to a legal process and the club is therefore unable to make further comment until that process is complete,” a spokesperson said at the time of his arrest.
He was being held at the Altcourse prison in Liverpool before being recently shifted to a prison in Manchester recently.