Giannini defense claims no physical evidence of rape

EADS, TN (WMC) - Jurors heard shocking testimony Tuesday from a former housekeeper of West Tennessee businessman Mark Giannini, who is accused of raping a woman.

The former housekeeper said she witnessed Giannini destroy evidence, research extradition, and make remarks regarding date rape. In addition, they heard from a representative with the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center.

Defense attorneys said there is no way to prove the sexual encounter between Giannini and the 28-year-old mother was rape.

Giannini is accused of raping a woman after she came to his home for what she believed was a job interview.

"He asked me to come and give a girl at his house a ride home," Giannini's former housekeeper testified.

At the time, the woman worked as Giannini's housekeeper at his Eads mansion. She said Giannini called her on the evening of June 19, 2014, just hours after investigators said he violently raped a 28-year-old mother.

"He said that she was really drunk," the housekeeper said.

She said when she arrived, Giannini made her drive back to the pool and that is where she saw the woman laying on a lawn chair.

"He said 'wake up baby, I got you a ride, wake up'," the housekeeper testified. "She was out of it, looked like she had passed out."

She then told jurors that Giannini told her to hurry and take the woman back to the motel where the woman was living. The woman was later hospitalized.

"She was in and out of sleeping or crying," the housekeeper said.

Kristine Gable, a nurse with the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center, said the woman had some bruises.

"She had a bruise to her chest, her arm, her cheek was red," Gable said.

Gable is the nurse who examined the woman in a Memphis hospital approximately one day after the alleged assault.

"She would become tearful and sob when she was describing what happened to her," Gable said.

Gable testified the accuser did not appear to have injuries caused directly by the sexual incident. Giannini's defense team pounced on that and said without physical evidence, the allegations are just a case of he said, she said.

"The fact of the matter is you have no idea whether [accuser] was raped or not," asked attorney Steve Farese.

"That is correct," Gable answered.

The housekeeper said she had multiple conversations with Giannini about what was happening that night.

"He told me to make sure they draw her blood (at the hospital) because he didn't want them thinking he date raped her," she said.

After investigators started looking at Giannini regarding rape allegations, the housekeeper said she watched Giannini destroy his phone and tell her to get rid of it. He then asked her to research what countries do not extradite back to the United States.

According to her testimony, Giannini even had a plan on how he was going to get out of the country.

"He said that he was not going to prison, that he was either going to kill himself or go to another country," the housekeeper testified. "He said he would go down to Florida and find himself a boat captain to take him to another country on a boat."

More than two years ago, Giannini was indicted on three rape charges.

The victim, a 28-year-old mother of four, took the stand on Tuesday and described the graphic details of her experience.

She said Giannini drugged and raped her, leaving her unconscious and hospitalized, in his Eads, Tennessee, home.

Giannini's attorneys said the encounter was consensual and the woman knew exactly what type of relationship she had with Giannini.

At the request of the prosecutors, we have not identified the housekeeper. The defense is expected to call her back to the stand Thursday.

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