Lawyer’s statements about consent during rape trial come under fire

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Even after his client was found not guilty, a local defense attorney's comments during a rape trial are still gaining attention.

Attorney Steve Farese stated that women "are the weaker sex" and claimed the victim's halter top meant she wanted sex during closing arguments in the trial of businessman Mark Giannini.

Farese also added that "women are good at lying."

The comments struck a nerve with some women's advocates about the true meaning of consent.

However, fellow defense attorney Leslie Ballin said that unscripted closing arguments shouldn't be taken literally.

"I know he didn't have a script written out, he wasn't reading anything, he was talking, he's talking his mind, his gut, his emotions, his feelings and sometimes things don't come out the way you want them to," Ballin said.

Deborah Clubb with the Memphis Area Woman's Council disagrees.

"How we chose to dress to express ourselves has nothing to do with consenting to any kind of sexual activity," Clubb said. "It's very troubling that Mr. Farese even included that as a way to try and prove that she knew what was going to happen and then that she was okay with everything that happened."

Giannini was found not guilty on Friday in a unanimous jury decision.

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