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 at a summer camp four years later.
He was arrested in 2018 after his victims began confiding in each other and realised they were suffering similar abuse.
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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.”