Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with a further count of rape, it was announced on Wednesday following the lifting of reporting restrictions.
The latest allegation, which relates to a new complainant, means the 27-year-old has now been accused of eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women.
Mendy pleaded not guilty last month to the prior charges. The latest has not yet been put to him in court.
The media had been banned from publishing the latest charge, but that restriction was lifted by judge Steven Everett during a hearing at Chester Crown Court in northwest England on Wednesday.
All the alleged offences are said to have taken place at Mendy’s home address near Macclesfield, northwest England, between October 2018 and August last year.
Mendy is due to go on trial before a jury on July 25 along with his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, who has also pleaded not guilty.
Matturie denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women. His alleged offences span from July 2012 to August last year.
Both the defendants are on bail. None of the women said to have been assaulted can be named under English law.
Mendy joined Premier League champions City from French side Monaco in 2017. He has played 75 times for the Manchester club, but his playing time has been limited by injuries and a loss of form.
He was suspended by City after being charged by police.
The last of Mendy’s 10 caps for France came in November 2019, after the defender won the World Cup in 2018.