Benjamin Mendy, a former footballer for Manchester City and France, was overcome with emotion on Friday when a jury in the UK found him not guilty of sex offenses, bringing an end to a difficult three-year court battle.
Mendy, aged 28, bowed his head and shed tears upon hearing the verdict, which came after a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court in northwest England.
The jury, consisting of six men and six women, deliberated for approximately three hours and 15 minutes before reaching their verdicts of not guilty on one count of rape and one count of attempted rape.
If convicted, Mendy would have faced a significant prison sentence. In a previous trial lasting six months, he was also acquitted in January of six charges of rape and one charge of sexual assault.