Bad Lawyers

Steve Farese’s Client Found Not Guilty of Rape
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Steve Farese

Summary: Despite making sexist remarks during a rape trial, Memphis attorney Steve Farese was able to get his client cleared of the charge.

During Mark Giannini’s rape trial, his attorney Steve Farese made comments that made jaws drop. Farese was defending his Tennessee millionaire client from accusations that he raped a 25-year-old woman seeking a housekeeping job with the millionaire. During closing arguments, Farese implied that women are especially skillful at lying.

  
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To learn more about the case, read Defense Lawyer Argues Women Are “The Weaker Sex” in Rape Case.

Giannini was found not guilty and argued that the sex was consensual. He was accused by a woman that went to his Memphis home to apply for a housekeeping job in 2014 that he raped and choked her during the interview. Court documents describe a disturbing scene with Giannini forcing himself on the woman after giving her a drink with something in it. She alleges that Giannini drove her to his home to better explain the requirements of the job.

During the trial, Farese claimed that women are the “weaker sex.” He said, “There’s always a reason behind a lie. People can be very good at lying. 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.” He defended his claims during the closing argument stating, “That’s what the book says.”

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In comments to Bustle by Fatima Goss Graves, president-elect of the National Women’s Law Center, she said Farese’s comments were “outrageous” and played on a “long list of rape myths that make it hard for women to report violence and abuse.” She stresses that his comments are unacceptable, “If we want women to continue to use the criminal justice system, they need to know that such conduct will not be rewarded.”

Director of the Memphis Area Women’s Council, Deborah Clubb added, “It was so offensive to hear ancient language saying all women lie, connive and can’t be trusted. For Farese to stand there and put the blame on her and say all women are liars is beyond pale.”



There are no studies proving that women lie better than men. For Farese to make such comments before a mostly female jury, there were nine women and three men, and then to go as far as to victim-blame may seem appalling. The fact that he was able to get his client off is perhaps a testimony to his skill as an attorney, especially since Giannini is facing two other rape charges.

Farese’s response to the criticism, “My job is not to care if anybody gets offended. Smart people will see if for what it is.”

Do you think women are better liars than men? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about attorneys caught making inappropriate comments, read these articles:

Photo: cbsnews.com



 

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