Women's Rights

Defense attorney uses courtroom to claim women are weak and lie about rape

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A defense lawyer is being criticized for telling a Tennessee jury that women are “especially good” at lying “because they’re the weaker sex.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports attorney Steve Farese made the comments during closing arguments of the trial of Mark Giannini, a wealthy businessman accused of raping a woman who came to his house for a job interview. Farese maintains that the sex was consensual and has questioned the woman’s credibility.

“There’s always a reason behind a lie. People can be very good at lying. Women can be especially good at it because they’re the weaker sex and we, that’s what the books say, and we want to protect them and not have anyone take advantage of them. At least I do,” Farese said during closing statements

Mark Giannini, 51, had been accused of raping a 25-year-old woman, and also faces separate charges for two other alleged rapes dating back to 2002, involving two different women.

Memphis Area Women’s Council executive director Deborah Clubb calls Farese’s comments “absolutely despicable.”

Farese tells the newspaper that his job “is not to care if anybody gets offended” and “smart people will see it for what it is.”

After the jury – made up of nine women and three men – found Giannini not guilty on three counts of rape Friday, the woman he was accused of raping left crying and screaming, according to local newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said after the verdict that they were “deeply disappointed in the outcome” and credited the woman with coming forward, adding that she hopes the case doesn’t stop others from testifying.

Giannini’s other two rape trials are still pending.

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