MOSSLEY Football Club insists it was as in the dark as anyone when a player was arrested for ‘gruesome’ sex crimes.
Former goalkeeper Johny Diba-Musangu has been jailed for 28 years, with four years to be served on license, after being convicted of raping and sexually assaulting seven females between 2011 and 2017.
A court heard the 23-year-old 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.
And shocked bosses at the Seel Park club say they are ‘appalled’ by his acts.
Diba-Musangu, of 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.
Detectives from Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation in 2018 following a report of sexual assault.
During this time, Diba-Musangu played football for multiple clubs and was arrested in October 2018, shortly after signing for Mossley.
At Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, he was jailed for 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.
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 led to where he is now – behind bars.“I hope this sentencing provides a sense of justice to the victims and their families and serves as a warning to other offenders.
“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.”
Diba-Musangu suddenly vanished from Mossley’s side shortly after being named player of the month when he was banned ‘sine die’ by the Football Association.
And club officials have revealed they did not know why at the time. However, since the full story has emerged, they were sickened.
In a statement to The Correspondent, they said: “He was suspended (Sine Die) by the FA in October 2018. The FA told us he couldn’t train or play football with immediate effect. We were not told why.
“This means he was banned from all football – so his registration with us became null and void which is standard procedure.
“We are appalled by the crimes committed. The victims have been incredibly brave coming forward.
“We hope they continue to receive the necessary support as they move on with their lives.”