Ex Rochdale AFC goalkeeper, 23, raped and sexually abused woman and six underage girls, court hears

A footballer sexually abused six girls and a woman over a five year period, a jury has been told.

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

Diba Musangu 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.  

Prosecution barrister Mark Monaghan told the jury that the youngest alleged victim was abused by Diba Musangu between the ages of seven and eight.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that she was raped three times.

On other occasions, Diba Musangu is alleged to have touched her inappropriately and shown her a pornographic video.

Diba Musangu’s defence barrister, David Livingstone Bruce, said told the jury – of eight women and four men – that the defence case was that none of these incidents happened.

Former Rochdale AFC goalkeeper Jonathan Diba Musangu, 23, denied 13 offences

Another victim was allegedly raped by Diba Musangu when she was 14-years-old. 

Of this incident, Mr Bruce told the jury that Diba Musangu was also underage at the time and that it was instigated by the girl. 

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

Diba Musangu grabbed a girl who was aged 11 or 12 at the time by the hips in a sexual manner, Mr Monaghan told the jury, while he allegedly made a sexual request of a younger girl.

Mr Bruce submitted that neither of these incidents took place.

The fifth alleged victim was raped by Diba Musangu when she was 12-years-old, according to Mr Monaghan. 

Diba Musangu initially asked the girl for a leg massage, before forcing himself upon her, the jury was told.

The Nightingale Court at the Lowry theatre (pictured), Salford, Greater Manchester

The Nightingale Court at the Lowry theatre (pictured), Salford, Greater Manchester

Mr Monaghan also alleged that he took photographs of the girl and threatened to show people if she revealed what he had done.

This incident also did not happen, according to Mr Bruce.

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

When the girl was 13, Diba Musangu asked her to send a video of her sucking her thumb, Mr Monaghan said.

Later that night, he invited her round to his house and answered the door topless, the court heard.

He is then alleged to have said to the girl: ‘You know why you’re here’. 

Feeling uncomfortable, the girl left, Mr Monaghan submitted.

A few months later, Mr Monaghan said that the girl asked what he meant by that, and Diba Musangu allegedly replied: ‘Bad intentions.’

When the girl was 14-years-old, they played a dares-style game over text message, Mr Monaghan told the jury.

Mr Monaghan said that one of the dares was for the girl to strike a ‘sexy pose’. 

The following year, Mr Monaghan said that Diba Musangu tried to have sex with the girl three more times and that she performed a sexual act on him another time, but she didn’t like it.

Mr Monaghan told the jury that there is evidence in the form of text messages.

Mr Bruce said: ‘The defendant has clearly told some untruths as far as [the girl] is concerned.’

He told the jury that the main issues for them to consider in relation to this alleged victim is how old she was when the alleged sexual attempts took place.

Mr Bruce also submitted that the sexual act did not take place. 

The final charge relates to the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman.

Mr Monaghan told the court that the woman then pretended that she was pregnant to try and get a confession out of Diba Musangu.

In text messages, Mr Monaghan told the jury that the woman said: ‘I f****** told you no and you didn’t f****** listen.’

At no point during the text messaging conversation did Diba Musangu reference any lack of consent, Mr Monaghan added.

Mr Bruce told the jury that any sexual encounters between the pair were consensual.

During police interviews, Mr Monaghan told the court that Diba Musangu said that ‘there’s a group of people who are against his family’, that the allegations were ‘rubbish’.

He also allegedly told police that he had recently signed with a football club and was ‘on his way up’ but that the alleged victims ‘got their heads together to come up with false allegations to cause trouble’.

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

‘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.’

In a brief opening speech, Mr Bruce told the jury to consider that six of the seven alleged victims went to the police within weeks of each other in, some of them doing so years after the alleged incidents took place.

He added: ‘I ask you to hold back until you’ve seen and heard all the evidence in context.’

Judge John Potter adjourned the trial until tomorrow morning. 

Diba Musangu, of Chadderton, Oldham, was on the books of Rochdale AFC between 2009 and 2017. He has also played for FC United, Ashton United and Mossley AFC. 

The trial continues.

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