An attorney defending a man accused of rape told Tennessee jury on April 20 that women are "especially good" at lying "because they're the weaker sex."
"People can be very good at lying," said attorney Steve Farese. "Women can be especially good at it because they're the weaker sex and we... and we want to protect them and not have anybody take advantage of them, at least I do," Farese said to the predominantly female jury, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
Farese was ending a closing argument in defense of wealthy businessman Mark Giannini, who is accused of raping a woman who showed up for a job interview at his house.
The attorney argues the sex was consensual and the woman is simply after money, adding she was crying "on cue" and purposefully dressed as an "Amish person." In 2015, he depicted the woman as a porn star, WREG reports.
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"Am I calling (her) a bad name because she was engaged in the oldest profession in the book out of desperation?" he asked. "No."
"She's totally unbelievable," added Farese, who previously called two other women who accused Giannini of rape liars, as well. He called one of them a prostitute.
Many are enraged by Farese's comments. Some are even urging the Memphis Bar Association to investigate Farese and revoke his license.
Memphis Area Women's Council executive director Deborah Clubb called his remarks "absolutely despicable".
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Others on social media agreed.
"What a despicable thing to say," tweeted one. "Steve Farese -- you are a disgusting person."
"Talented attys don't need to demean women to defend their clients," wrote another. "Attacking a rape victim on stand is violating her again. #stevefarese."
"Every time I think we as a society have made progress, some Neanderthal rears his ugly head and I realize we have a long way to go," wrote a third person on the Daily Mail. "This guys comments are despicable."
Some were simply bewildered the attorney would say such things to a jury filled with only three men and eleven women.
"And he makes these comments to a jury of 11 women and three men!," added another person. "Really? Seriously need to consider if he's smart enough to be practicing law."
Yet it appears Farese does not care about the criticism.
"[My job] is not to care if anybody gets offended," he said, adding that "smart people will see it for what it is."