Attorney calls women 'weaker sex' to defend accused rapist

Attorney calls women 'weaker sex' to defend accused rapist
Mark Giannini (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Mark Giannini (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday afternoon for the trial of a Memphis businessman accused of drugging and raping a housekeeper. The jury will begin deliberations at 9 a.m. Friday.

Mark Giannini owns a mansion in Eads, Tennessee. It's inside that mansion that a woman said he forced himself on her and raped her. The victim said she was offered a job cleaning the house, but when she arrived, Giannini had other plans for her.

Giannini chose not to testify on his own behalf, but other witnesses did take the stand, including Giannini's long-time friend John James.

James said he met the victim while she worked as a waitress at Waffle House. He said he introduced her to Giannini, because he could help her financially.

"She did know one thing," James said. "That was that you're going to be having sex."

Prosecutors disagreed. They said she was not aware Giannini would force her against her will to do anything.

"Did you tell her she was going to be choked until she passed out?" a prosecutor asked James.

"No sir," James responded.

Prosecutors said the victim was injured so badly that she had to go to the hospital for care.

In prior days of testimony, the victim testified that Giannini violently raped her and left her unconscious.

"I was crying. I wanted for him to stop," she said.

Giannini's defense argued the victim is lying about what happened in order to win a multimillion dollar civil suit.

"We've all been lied to. There's always a reason behind the lie," attorney Steve Farese said. "People can be really good at lying. Women can be especially good at it, because they are the weaker sex."

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