Benjamin Mendy, the footballer of Manchester City and France, is on trial on Wednesday for the alleged rape and assault of seven women.
Mendy, 28, is to face eight charges of rape, one of assault and one of attempted rape before the Chester Crown Court in the north west of England, involving seven young women.
He pleaded not guilty to nine out of ten charges in May, but was subsequently struck by the new number of rapes that have not yet been brought before him in court.
All the alleged violations were alleged to have taken place at Mendy’s home address in Prestbury near Macclesfield, also in the north west of England, between October 2018 and August last year.
He is on trial before a jury along with co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who has also pleaded not guilty.
Matturie denies eight charges of rape and four charges of sexual assault, which concern eight young women. His alleged violations extend from July 2012 to August last year.
Both defendants are out on bail, and Mendy is subject to what a judge previously called “strict” conditions, including surrendering his passport.
After his arrest last August, he was held first in Altcourse prison in Liverpool and then in Manchester, before being released on bail in January.
None of the women alleged to have been assaulted can be named under English law, which also places restrictions on what can be reported on the case.
The process is expected to take up to six weeks.
It starts the same week that former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs began his trial on charges of assaulting and forcibly controlling his ex-girlfriend.
Mendy came from Monaco in France to City, the champions of the Premier League, in 2017. He played 75 times for the Manchester club, but his playing time was limited by injuries and loss of form.
He was suspended by City after being charged by police in August.
The last of Mendy’s 10 caps for France came in November 2019, after the defender won the 2018 World Cup.