Attorney in rape trial: Women are ‘especially’ good liars because ‘they’re the weaker sex’

MEMPHIS -- An attorney is under fire for comments he made about women during a rape trial in which a wealthy Tennessee businessman was found not guilty Friday, according to WREG.

Steve Farese, a well-known Memphis-area litigator, made the remarks while representing 51-year-old Mark Giannini, who had been accused of raping a 25-year-old woman.  Giannini also faces separate charges for two other alleged rapes dating back to 2002, involving two different women.

During closing statements Wednesday, Farese said, "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."

Memphis Area Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb called Farese's comments "absolutely despicable."

Giannini was the founder and former CEO of Service Assurance, a computer and information technology company that he sold to Konica-Minolta. He was also on the board for the Boys and Girls Club, the Memphis Botanic Garden and the Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

The 25-year-old plaintiff told police she was drugged and raped at Giannini’s home when she was hired to clean his house in June of 2014. Detectives who searched Giannini's mansion reported finding drugs, guns, nipple clamps, sex toys, lingerie and numerous flash drives, according to WMC.

Arrested shortly after the search, Giannini was found with his passport, a small contact lens case with Viagra and a large sum of cash, according to police.

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 the The Commercial Appeal.

Shelby County DA 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.

Farese told the paper they were "very, very pleased" by the outcome, and that he thought his client had already been convicted by public opinion.

Giannini's two other rape cases are still pending.