Ex-Rochdale AFC goalkeeper 'raped and sexually abused six underage girls as young as seven' court told

A FOOTBALLER raped and sexually abused six underage girls as young as seven and a woman over a five-year period, a court has heard.

Former Rochdale AFC goalkeeper Johnathon Diba Musangu, 23, denied 13 offences at the Lowry Nightingale Court, in Salford, Greater Manchester.

He denied three counts of raping a child under 13, three counts of rape, two counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and three counts of sexual activity with a child.

But the disgraced sportsman pleaded guilty to a further charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The jury was told by prosecution barrister Mark Monaghan how his youngest alleged victim, abused between the ages of seven and eight, was raped three times.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed on other occasions she was touched inappropriately and shown a pornographic video by Diba Musangu.

Diba Musangu's defence barrister, David Livingstone Bruce, said the defence case was that none of these incidents had happened.

Another victim was allegedly raped by the ex-goalie when she was 14-years-old – but the defence claimed Diba Musangu was also underage at the time and suggested the encounter had been instigated by the girl.

Two of the charges are in regards to sisters – one aged 11 or 12 at the time of the alleged offending and the other two years younger. 

Mr Monaghan told the jury Diba Musangu had allegedly grabbed the older girl by the hips in a sexual manner and made a sexual request of the younger girl.

His fifth alleged victim was 12-years-old when she was raped by Diba Musangu, Mr Monaghan said, after he asked her for a leg massage before forcing himself upon her.

The 23-year-old allegedly took photographs of the youngster and threatened to show people if she revealed what he had done.

The three counts of sexual activity with a child relate to a sixth girl, between the ages of 13 and 15.


She was 13 when Diba Musangu asked her to send him a video of her sucking her thumb, the prosecution said.

He then invited her round to his house later that night, answered the door topless, and said to the teen: "You know why you're here," the jury of eight women and four men were told.

She left after feeling uncomfortable, but months later she enquired about what he had meant by his remark – to which he allegedly replied, "Bad intentions".

At age 14, the girl was allegedly playing a dares-style game over text message with Diba Musangu, where he dared her to strike a "sexy pose".

Diba Musangu pleaded guilty to one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in relation to this incident.

The following year, he tried to have sex with her three more times and she performed a sexual act on him on another occasion, but didn't like it, the court heard.

The prosecution barrister said this allegation was backed up by text messages.

The defense encouraged the jury to instead focus on how old this alleged victim was when the alleged sexual attempts took place, but suggested the sexual act did not take place.

The final charge is in relation to the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman, who pretended she was pregnant to try and coax a confession out of Diba Musangu.

In text messages with the defendant, the victim wrote: "I f***ing told you no and you didn’t f***ing listen," Mr Monaghan said.

He then explained Diba Musangu did not reference any lack of consent at any point during the conversation.

The 23-year-old allegedly boasted he was "on his way up" after recently signing with a club and told police his accusers had "got their heads together to come up with false allegations to cause trouble."

"The prosecution say that the fact there are all these allegations from witnesses, who all say that the defendant did criminal things to them," Mr Monaghan said.

"The prosecution say that's not because of collusion or getting their heads together but rather that the defendant did so many sexual things that in effect what happened, is that he became the subject of his own little 'Me Too' movement."

During police interviews, the footballer, who had stints at FC United, Ashton United and Mossley AFC, branded the allegations "rubbish" and claimed "there's a group of people who are against his family," the court heard.

Mr Bruce had urged the jury in a brief opening speech to consider that six of the seven alleged victims had reported the incidents to police within weeks of each other – some doing so years after they allegedly took place.

"I ask you to hold back until you've seen and heard all the evidence in context," he said.

The trial was adjourned until the following day and continues.

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