Ex-Rochdale AFC goalkeeper jailed for raping and sexually abusing six underage girls as young as seven

A FOOTBALLER who raped and sexually abused girls as young as seven has been jailed.

Former Rochdale AFC goalkeeper Johnathon Diba-Musangu, 23, was convicted of 12 sexual offences over a five year period.


Diba-Musangu- who was on the club's books in the mid-to-late 2010s -has now been jailed for 24 years

He was arrested in 2018 after his victims began confiding in each other and realised they were suffering similar abuse.

Diba-Musangu denied the allegations and said those accusing him were attempting to ruin his life.

But he was was convicted of three counts of rape of a child under 13, two counts of rape and two counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

A jury also found him guilty of two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three counts of sexual activity with a child.

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

During his trial, the jury was told about a catalogue of horrific abuse carried out Diba-Musangu.

Prosecutor Mark Monaghan told the court how his youngest alleged victim, abused between the ages of seven and eight, was raped three times.

The girl claimed on other occasions she was touched inappropriately and shown a pornographic video by Diba-Musangu.

Another victim was allegedly raped by the ex-goalie when she was 14-years-old.

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.

FORCED HIMSELF ON VICTIMS

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 rapist 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 and answered the door topless, and said to the teen: "You know why you're here."

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".

'BAD INTENTIONS'

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 final charge he faced was 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.

The footballer 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."

He was sentenced on Friday at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.


How you can get help

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, where you call 999 and press ‘55’ if you can’t safely speak.
  • Always keep some money or a bank card on you, including change in case you need a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to move towards an exit if you are inside the house and get your phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other potential weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom.

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]

SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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