Former Dale goalkeeper jailed for 28 years for sexual offences
Date published: 25 September 2021
Photo: Greater Manchester Police
A former Rochdale AFC goalkeeper has been jailed for 28 years after raping and sexually assaulting seven females between 2011 and 2017.
Rapist Jonathan Diba-Musangu, 23, who played for Dale during the 2010s, was jailed on Friday (24 September) for 28 years, four to be served on license, at Minshull St Crown Court.
Diba-Musangu was charged with five counts of rape, assault of a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault of a child under 13, and three counts of sexual activity with a child.
The court heard, in one instance, the former St Cuthbert’s pupil raped a seven-year-old girl when he was 14 or 15 years old in the presence of another young boy at an address in Rochdale.
He 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 launched an investigation in 2018 following a report of sexual assault. During this time, the 23-year-old, of Chadderton, played football for multiple clubs. In mid October 2018, he signed as a semi-professional goalkeeper at Mossley FC. Shortly afterwards that month, detectives arrested him for several offences.
Detective Inspector Julie Maxwell, from GMP's Rochdale district, 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.
"I hope that today's sentencing provides a sense of justice to the victims and their families and serves as a warning to other offenders."
Inspector Maxwell added: "I encourage young people who are - or anyone else who suspects a young person is - being inappropriately contacted by an adult – whether in person or via the internet – to report it to an appropriate adult or agency. This could be a parent, carer, teacher or the police.”
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “The victims in this case have lived with the devastating impact of being abused as young girls by Diba-Musangu. We hope that through coming forward and seeing their abuser face justice, they will find some comfort and closure and be able to move forward with their lives.
“It is so important that those who have been subjected to sexual abuse feel confident that if they speak out they will be listened to and allegations will be investigated, no matter how much time has passed or who the perpetrator is.
“Anyone who has experienced abuse or is concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111.”
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