Criminal Justice

Defense lawyer in rape case tells jurors that women are good at lying; defendant is acquitted

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A defense lawyer in a Tennessee rape case is under fire for telling jurors during closing arguments that women are especially good at lying.

Lawyer Steve Farese made the statement during closing arguments on Thursday in the rape trial of wealthy Memphis-area businessman Mark Giannini, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and Local Memphis report.

Jurors acquitted Giannini on Friday, the Commercial Appeal reported Friday evening. The woman who had accused Giannini left the courtroom crying and screaming.

Giannini had been accused of raping the woman when she came to his mansion for a job interview. The defense team argued the sex was consensual.

“People can be very good at lying,” Farese argued on Thursday. “Women can be especially good at it because they’re the weaker sex … and we want to protect them and not have anybody take advantage of them, at least I do.”

Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Memphis Area Women’s Council, told the Commercial Appeal that the comment is “absolutely despicable.”

But Farese told the newspaper that, “My job is not to care if anybody gets offended.”

The jury, made up of nine women and three men, began deliberations on Friday morning. Both alternates on the jury were women.

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