Housekeeper testifies Giannini destroyed cell phone – The Commercial Appeal
Second day of testimony in the aggravated rape trial of Shelby County businessman Mark Giannini.
Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal
Opening arguments in Mark Giannini rape trial
Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal
Businessman Mark Giannini is scheduled for trial this week for the rape of a woman in 2014. Giannini is charged with raping three women over a period of 13 years. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.
A former housekeeper of wealthy Shelby County businessman Mark Giannini testified Wednesday that he destroyed a cell phone, asked her to research countries that don’t extradite to the United States and referenced plans to either kill himself or flee the country by boat.
His behavior and remarks came in the days following a woman’s report that he raped her in late June 2014Â at his Eads mansion, according to the housekeeper’s testimony.
Giannini, 51, is on trial this week in Shelby County Criminal Court charged with three counts of aggravated rape of the woman. Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday afternoon following testimony by the housekeeper, a retired Shelby County Sheriff’s lieutenant, medical professionals and a forensic scientist.
On Tuesday, the victim in the case testified Giannini took her to his house for what she thought was a job interview for a housekeeper or assistant for office work. She testified that Giannini raped her while calling her names and telling her that was her job interview.
“I kept crying and saying that I wanted to go home,” she said.
The housekeeper described for the juryÂ the day Giannini summoned herÂ to come help the woman, whom he said was at his house and needed a ride home.
The housekeeper said sheÂ found the woman in a lawn chair with Giannini urging her to wake up.
“She was out of it,” the housekeeper told Assistant District Attorney Jessica Banti.
Once in the housekeeper’s car, the woman alternated betweenÂ sleeping and crying, the housekeeper said.
Giannini’s demeanor was rushed and frantic, and in the ensuing days, the housekeeper said she saw him destroy his phone by throwing it on the ground, taking a rock and smashing it.
“Get rid of this,” he told her, according to her testimony.
She also alleged GianniniÂ told her he wasn’t going to prison and would kill himself or go to Florida to find a boat captain that would take him to another country.
“He told me to make sure that they draw her blood because he didn’t want them thinking that he date raped her,” the housekeeper said.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Thursday.