Mark Giannini, a businessman in Memphis who’s been charged with raping three women dating back to 2002, has had national attention called to his case by the words of his defense attorney, Steve Farese. Farese seems to think that women are liars.
The Commercial Appeal reports that Farese shocked a courtroom Thursday by stating in closing arguments that the jury should consider how good people are at lying. The person Farese was referring to in particular was not Giannini, but the woman who testified that he invited her to his house for a job interview, then allegedly choked and raped her there. The next thing she remembered, she said, was waking up in the hospital. But that is something a woman would say, according to Farese:
“People can be very good at lying. Women can be especially good at it because they’re the weaker sex and we ... and we want to protect them and not have anybody take advantage of them at least I do.”
He appeared to say “that’s what the book says” referencing the weaker sex comment.
This was not a throwaway comment. Farese began his closing argument with a powerpoint slide reading, “Saying it does not make it so.” He also alleged that the prosecution was hiding the top the woman wore to Giannini’s mansion that night because it was a “sexy halter top.” He continued to cast aspersions on the woman’s legitimacy, bringing up her past involvement with drug smuggling and implying she didn’t fight back hard enough against Giannini’s advances.
“They can’t make chicken salad out of chicken squat,” Farese said, and added, “Don’t tinkle on my leg and tell me it’s raining. I know what’s going on. One lie after another lie after another embellishment, on and on it goes.”
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In a phone interview with The Commercial Appeal, Farese defended his comments, saying, “My job is not to care if anybody gets offended,” adding, “Smart people will see it for what it is.”