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Ex-footballer jailed for sexually abusing young girls

|News, Sexual offences

An ex-footballer who raped six young girls over a five year period has today been jailed for 24 years.

Jonathan Diba-Musangu, 23, was convicted of 12 sexual offences against six victims he targeted between 2012 and 2017.

The former Rochdale goalkeeper’s youngest victim was just seven years old when he raped her in 2012.

The girl told her sister and her mother and when her mother confided in a friend, she learned of similar reports by two other girls.

On a separate occasion in a church hall event, Diba-Musangu suggested the children dance in pairs. He then took one of the girls to the bathroom and sexually abused her. He also sexually abused another girl in the bathroom later that day.

In 2015 Diba-Musangu began talking to a 15-year-old girl on Snapchat and asked her to send explicit images and videos. On separate occasions, he assaulted and raped her.

In 2016, he raped a 12-year-old at a church summer camp. He then took photos of her and threatened to show them to others if she told anyone what he had done.

In 2017, Diba-Musangu raped a 12-year-old after she challenged him over lies he had been telling about them being in a relationship.

He was arrested in 2018 after many of the 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.

The case against Diba-Musangu relied heavily on witness accounts. Working closely with Greater Manchester Police, the CPS also analysed more than one million strands of mobile phone data which was put into charts for the jury to follow.

In July, following a trial at the Lowry Nightingale Court in Salford, Diba-Musangu was convicted of three counts of rape of a child under 13, two 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.

He was sentenced today at Minshull St Crown  court, Manchester.

Claire Marsh of the CPS said: ‘’Jonathan Diba-Musangu treated these young girls as objects for his own sexual gratification. He exploited their vulnerability without any thought to the devastating impact of his abuse on their lives.

‘’He exploited the church setting and his position as a footballer to commit these offences and sought to discredit the adults who came forward in support of the girls.

‘’Rape is a truly devastating and life-changing crime and our prosecutors see the trauma it can cause victims every day. I would therefore like to commend these young women and girls for coming forward and I hope this sentence helps them feel justice has been served.”

The CPS is determined to drive up the number of rape cases reaching court across the country. Earlier this year, along with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, we published the Joint National Action Plan which sets out a wide-ranging plan for greater collaboration to improve the response to RASSO cases.

The CPS is one year in to a five-year strategy to bring about a step change in how it works with all parts of the criminal justice system to reverse the sharp drop in prosecutions.

We have also recently updated our RASSO legal guidance to reflect rape myths and stereotypes in an age of changing sexual behaviours and the latest insights into the impact of trauma.

Notes to editors

  • Claire Marsh is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS North West
  • Jonathan Diba-Musangu was found guilty of 3 counts of rape of a child under 13, 2 counts of rape, 2 counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, 2 counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and 3 counts of sexual activity with a child
  • Jonathan Diba-Musangu was sentenced to 24 years in prison and then on an extended licence recall for four years 

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