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Mark Giannini has been hailed in the past as an innovative businessman. More recently, law enforcement officials have called Giannini a rapist. The prominent Memphis entrepreneur was recently arrested on a charge of aggravated statutory rape.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office detectives accuse the 52-year-old of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. The teen told law enforcement officers that she met Giannini a few months prior to the end of last year on a social media dating site that purports to link “sugar daddies” and “sugar babies.”

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the two then reportedly began a sexual relationship. She apparently told police that they also exchanged sexually explicit photos, the arrest report states.

The newspaper also says she told officers that the businessman is in love with her, though she also fears for her safety and the safety of her family.

Last year, Giannini was acquitted on a 2014 rape charge. He also entered a no contest plea to a Class D felony drug charge in 2017. He was sentenced to two years in prison (time already served) and two years of probation.

He has also been indicted on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2002 and raping a 23-year-old woman in 2013. Those charges are pending, the newspaper reports.

There is no doubt that the defendant in this latest case would face harsh punishment if convicted on the charges.

Before a person in this situation discusses the charges with a prosecutor, they should sit down and talk over their legal options with a skilled attorney experienced in sex crimes defense.