Rochdale former footballer Diba-Musangu jailed for 24 years for raping girls as young as seven

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A former professional footballer has been jailed for 24 years for a series of serious sexual offences against victims as young as seven.

Rapist Jonathan Diba-Musangu, a goalkeeper who was on Rochdale AFC's books in the mid-to-late 2010s, was convicted of 12 sexual offences against six victims he targeted between 2012 and 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The 23-year-old's youngest victim was just seven when he raped her in 2012, the CPS said, while Diba-Musangu raped a 12-year-old girl four years later.

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

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said Diba-Musangu, of Fernhurst Street in Chadderton, met most of his victims through a church in Rochdale where he taught Sunday school and music classes and worked in focus groups for young adults alongside his budding career as a footballer.

GMP said he was arrested in October 2018, shortly after signing as a semi-professional goalkeeper with Mossley FC.

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

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, the CPS said.

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

Detective Inspector Julie Maxwell said: "It's taken immense bravery for these victims to come forward and cooperate with us as we pieced together his gruesome acts.

"Diba-Musangu abused his position of power within the church and may have well had a successful footballing career ahead of him before the work of detectives have led to where he is now behind bars." Mirror

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