Statutory rape charge dropped against Eads businessman

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The statutory rape charges against former businessman Mark Giannini have been dropped.

During a hearing on Tuesday, it was determined there wasn't evidence to suggest Giannini knew the young lady he met on the social dating site Seeking Arrangements was under the age of 18 when they began having sex. On her profile she reportedly said she was 18+.

"They had enough evidence to arrest him and put him in jail for over a month, and then when the culmination came there was nothing there," Giannini's attorney, Steve Farese, said.

Giannini's lawyer explained that Giannini had no reason to believe she was lying and didn't verify her age.

"We don't go around in places or bars saying, 'Do you want to have a drink, but how old are you?' You don't do that if you're a citizen," Farese said.

The Shelby County District Attorney's Office also asked the judge to dismiss the case, but also released a statement to WREG saying "This is an ongoing investigation. Our prosecutors will review all the facts once the investigation is complete and determine next steps at that point."

Giannini and the underage girl reportedly had relations at his home on multiple occasions and exchanged nude photos.

WREG tried to ask Giannini what he though about the outcome. He paused long enough to stare us down and then walked away.

His attorney says this is just one less thing to worry about.

Giannini remains on probation in another drug case and he still has two other rape cases lined up for trial.

► RELATED: Past coverage of Mark Giannini's trials

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