A defense attorney has come under fire for reportedly telling a Tennessee jury that women are "especially good" at lying while defending a man accused of rape, adding that it's because they were "the weaker sex." The Memphis lawyer, Steve Farese, reportedly made those remarks in his closing argument Thursday. Farese is defending a wealthy businessman accused of drugging and raping a woman when she came to his home to interview for a housekeeper position.
"There's always a reason behind a lie," Farese reportedly said while delivering his closing argument in the trial of Mark Giannini, the businessman accused of a rape in 2014. "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."
In his comments, Farese appeared to imply that women, as the "weaker sex," were more successful at lying because they exploited men's natural desire to protect them. Deborah Clubb, the executive director of the Memphis Area Women's Council slammed Farese's remarks as "absolutely despicable," CBS News reported.
In a statement to USA Today, Farese reportedly dismissed criticism from those outraged by his comments. "My job is not to care if anybody gets offended," Farese reportedly said in a phone interview. "Smart people will see it for what it is."
Defense lawyer criticized for telling a Tennessee jury in a rape trial that women are 'especially good' at lying. https://t.co/GrQ5zFWrhW— The Associated Press (@AP) April 21, 2017
Giannini has been accused of raping a woman who said she went to his home in Eads, Tennessee, in June of 2014, to meet with the businessman about a job as a housekeeper. According to local broadcaster WMC Action News 5, prosecutors claimed the woman was left unconscious after Giannini allegedly choked her while violently raping her. Prosecutors said the woman's injuries were so bad she'd had to seek medical treatment at a local hospital.
According to WMC Action News 5, Farese argued the sex was consensual and the woman was lying about the circumstances for financial gain. A witness who testified on behalf of Giannini claimed the woman, whom he had introduced to Giannini, knew she was going to the house to have sex.
According to USA Today affiliate The Commercial Appeal, Giannini has also been charged with two other separate alleged rapes that date back to 2002. He has also been accused of attempting to bribe a witness involved in one of the cases.