Mark Giannini takes the stand in bond hearing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For the first time since being accused of rape, prominent businessman Mark Giannini took the stand on Wednesday.

"Are you aware of the charges that are pending against you?" asked Judge Mark Ward.

"I am."

The judge is now trying to decide bond for Giannini as he has two upcoming rape trials and drug charges pending.

His bond was revoked last year after being accused of bribing and coercing a victim. Now Giannini's defense is asking the judge to reverse his own decision and grant bail.

His defense attorney argued Giannini’s acquittal on the first rape case last month should take a role, but it was Giannini’s friend who ended up taking center stage at the bond hearing.

"I’m not going to swear her in because I don’t think she’s capable of telling the truth," said Judge Ward.

Judge Ward said this after prosecutors told him the woman sent Giannini stacks of paper in jail that contained private information about people connected to the case. They also said they have her on tape talking to Giannini and making threatening remarks about a former juror, saying there would be consequences for that person.

"I’ve already got enough evidence on you to put you in jail, so don’t try my patience," the judge told her.

Back on the stand, the judge asked Giannini about having the same woman send him information about people in the past, specifically one of the detective’s relatives.

Giannini said the relative bought items for an alleged victim.

"That concerned me," said Giannini. "That was very inappropriate and that was a form of bribery."

The judge ultimately decided he needed more time to look over the new information before determining bond.

"I’m asking for less than $3 million. I think the judge is considering $3 million and of course, he has the final say," said Defense Attorney Steve Farese.

He’s also asking Giannini be placed on house arrest with certain monitoring requirements.

In the meantime, they’re scheduled to back in court next Wednesday where they hope the judge will make a final decision.

Next week will be the third bond hearing for Giannini.

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