Defense attorney: Giannini had consensual sex with woman accusing him of rape

Published: Apr. 18, 2017 at 8:59 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2017 at 5:29 AM CDT
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EADS, TN (WMC) - The trial for businessman Mark Giannini, who is accused of rape, kicked off Tuesday with the victim taking the stand.

It's been more than two years since Giannini was indicted on three rape charges.

Police said Giannini lured a woman to his estate in Eads, Tennessee with the promise of a cleaning job. He then drugged and raped her.

"I was talking about housekeeping," the victim said, as she recalled the events of what took place.

The 28-year-old mother of four children told jurors she thought she was interviewing for a professional job when Giannini brought her to his house in June 2014. She said she quickly knew something was wrong.

"He told me I wasn't going home, I had a job interview to do," she said. "He told me I had to take off my clothes. He started raping me."

She said she was violently raped in a graphic sexual encounter that left her unconscious and hospitalized.

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

Defense attorneys for Giannini said the sex was consensual that day, and the woman knew what type of arrangement she was getting into. They said she was introduced to Giannini by a man she met while working at a Memphis Waffle House.

"Mark is sitting by the poolside without his clothes, naked as a jay bird," defense attorney William Massey said.

They said the man who introduced her to Giannini told her what to expect.

Massey said it was not rape and the woman knew the type of relationship they had. The defense said the accuser can't be trusted because she was drunk and had marijuana in her system that day.

"The relationship with him would involve sex," Massey said. "Don't go into it with your eyes blind. Go into it with your eyes open."

The woman had just moved back to Memphis and was living in a motel. She had done some prison time on federal drug charges for trafficking substances from Mexico to the United States.

Prosecutors acknowledge the woman has a past, but said that doesn't give Giannini the right to violently rape her.

"She had the horrendously bad luck of coming into contact with Mark Giannini," prosecutor Carrie Bush said.

Investigators raided Giannini's estate in June 2014, seizing evidence including handcuffs, a pink leash, and containers full of lingerie.

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