Defense Lawyer Who Said Women Are "Especially Good" At Lying Is "Especially Good" At Being A Misogynist

04/21/2017 11:16 pm ET Updated Apr 24, 2017

Tennessee defense lawyer Steve Farese tried to do what practically every defense lawyer does for their client who is accused of raping a woman. He put the blame on the woman.

According to The Memphis Commercial Appeal, Farese said that the woman was lying, because well, women are “especially good” at it. And apparently, women are good at lying because “they’re the weaker sex.”

And who exactly was this lawyer who clearly respects women representing? A wealthy businessman named Mark Giannini, 51, who was accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in June 2014 at his Eads mansion when she was at his house for a job interview. Giannini was charged with three counts of aggravated rape.

Mark Giannini enters the courtoom at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center on Thursday.
Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal
Mark Giannini enters the courtoom at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center on Thursday.

To say that women are “especially good” at lying reinforces the absurd, but rather popular belief among men that women lie about getting raped or sexually assaulted. In fact, false allegations against rape are rare. According to a study entitled, False Allegations of Sexual Assualt: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Cases, only 2 to 8 percent of rape allegations are false. Keep in mind that this number only includes the amount of rape cases reported to police. Further, Farese puts forward an obnoxious hypothesis that woman are good at lying because they’re the weaker sex.

Surely, you’ve never actually conversed with a woman before Mr. Farese because there is nothing weak about us.

Now, like most rape cases, this case wasn’t so cut and dry. Tuesday’s Memphis Commercial Appeal court blog revealed that there appeared to be disagreement as to what kind of job the woman was interviewing for and whether or not sex was an expectation of that job. But even if sex was an agreement, that doesn’t give a man permission to rape a women. The woman testified that she was crying, praying, and saying she wanted to go home. If a woman is crying or praying or saying she wants to go home, I can guarantee you that she does not want to have sex.

On Thursday, Farese made another inappropriate comment stating that the halter top the woman was wearing was not admitted into evidence because it was sexy, according to the Commercial Appeal court blog.

I really wish someone would start focusing on why men are raping rather than what women are wearing. I’m extremely tired of men and society telling me that my clothes are interfering with a males judgement. If what a woman wears makes a man want to rape her, then that man needs to get some serious help. It’s not a woman’s fault. Who cares if she was wearing a sexy halter top? She could be wearing nothing for all I care. That doesn’t give a man permission to rape somebody.

To make matters worse, Farese told the Commercial Appeal that his job “is not to care if anybody gets offended.”

Well, that’s beyond obvious.

He doesn’t care that his words are degrading to women everywhere. He doesn’t care that his words reinforce the belief among men and even law enforcement that rape is a women’s fault. More importantly, he doesn’t care that his words may have swayed the jury to rule a not guilty verdict in such an important case.

Farese added that, “smart people will see it for what it is.”

I don’t want to brag, but I do believe myself to be a pretty smart person. (And even if I wasn’t, I guess I can say I am, because according to Farese, I’m such a good liar.) The point is, I have no doubt that Farese was saying whatever he could to get his client off the hook.

I understand that every lawyers job is to defend their client, but at what cost? The comments were pathetic and degrading and I am surprised they were said in a courtroom.

It’s especially disappointing that Farese is a father of two daughters. Everyone has a job to do, I get that. But children do hear their parents, children do learn from them. Girls need to know that regardless of what they wear, they shouldn’t be raped. They need to know that they can speak up if they feel sexually assaulted and have a support system that does not accuse them of lying.

They need to know that they’re not the weaker sex.

And if you think otherwise, you have not met a woman.

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