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Fake doctor Jeffrey Marsalis acquitted of date rape

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been transfixed in recent weeks by the trial of Jeffrey Marsalis, 34, who was accused of raping seven women.

After five days of deliberations, a jury acquitted Marsalis of 24 counts of rape, and could not reach a verdict on one charge of rape by forcible compulsion. They did convict him of two counts of sexual assault. He could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in prison.

Met on Match.com

Marsalis met six of the women—all of them professionals—on Match.com. He told them he was a doctor. In fact, he walked the floors of Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia wearing scrubs and a lab coat. He had hospital ID badges and carried a stethoscope. His former fiancée, who was not one of the alleged victims, testified that Marsalis regularly took her to the hospital, where they went to the cafeteria, the emergency-room medical supply room and to the cadaver lab. Security officers never challenged him.

Marsalis also told his fiancé that he was a CIA agent. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, she testified that he said he was “crawling around the caves in Afghanistan hunting terrorists.” Marsalis eventually admitted he wasn’t a doctor, but said it was part of his CIA cover. The woman—now an attorney and an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve—believed him. Marsalis showed her ID badges and other documentation. He also had a black 9mm Beretta that he named “Priscilla.”

Jeffrey Marsalis was not a doctor. Nor was he a CIA agent, an FBI agent, or an astronaut, as he told some of the women. He did study to be an emergency medical technician, but he never worked in Philadelphia. His stories were all bogus.

Unconscious after drinks

But the stories were good enough to attract the attention of women on Match.com. His photo portrayed a handsome, clean-cut man. Hey, what’s wrong with meeting the guy for a drink, right?

Between 2003 and 2005, that’s exactly what the seven alleged victims did, at various Philadelphia hot spots. But in May 2007, all seven women, who did not know each other, gave nearly identical testimony in court:

• They had some alcohol, ranging from a glass of wine to a few beers and a shot.
• They blacked out, lost memory, and couldn’t move parts of their bodies.
• They regained consciousness to find they had had a sexual encounter, or Marsalis was in the midst of having sex with them. Then they blacked out again.

Marc LeBeau, unit chief of the FBI’s chemistry laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, testified that none of the women could have experienced symptoms as severe as losing consciousness based solely on the amount of alcohol they consumed. The drinks must have been drugged. A likely candidate was diphenhydramine HCl, available over-the-counter as Benadryl.

When police searched Marsalis’ apartment, they found a syringe that contained 50 milligrams of the drug in injectable liquid form.

Unfortunately, none of the women reported the alleged rape to authorities. They all confided in friends or associates, but none went to the police or to a hospital. Diphenhydramine HCl dissipates quickly from the body, so there was no physical evidence that they had been drugged.

Anger at pregnancy

One of the women ended up pregnant. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, even though the woman was raised Catholic, she decided she couldn’t have the child. She wanted Marsalis to pay for the abortion because she wasn’t working. He reacted with anger.

“He was angry, defensive, mean, cruel,” the woman said, according to the paper. “He told me I was a psycho. He told me … I was clinically mentally ill.”

She testified that Marsalis said he “had connections with the CIA and he said he would F up my world,” according to the paper.

Only a playboy

Jeffrey Marsalis’ defense lawyers argued that the sex with all the women was consensual. Yes, the guy was a playboy, they said, but the women who accused him of rape simply regretted having had sex with him. Or, they were angry when they learned that they’d been duped by his stories.

Apparently, the jury did not find seven women telling exactly the same story to be credible. Marsalis was acquitted of most of the charges against him.

One of the accusers vomited after hearing the verdict. Another wept.

Typical victim behavior

The problem was, some of the women had contact with Marsalis after the alleged rapes occurred. One woman took a shower with him. One had lunch with him. One sent him a new set of sheets, because she’d been menstruating, and his were ruined.

Is this the behavior of women who have been raped?

According to a column by Jill Porter in the Daily News, the answer is yes. The column quoted Jennifer Long, director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women. “It’s not uncommon for victims to seek out their assailants in an attempt to master their situations or to regain control of their lives,” she said. “These are things the defense exploits to demonstrate that the victim isn’t ‘real’ because they say these behaviors are inconsistent with how a ‘real’ victim truly behaves.”

An expert witness could have explained this to the jury, just as an expert witness explained how it was impossible for the women to black out from the small amounts of alcohol that they consumed. However, the Daily News wrote, “Pennsylvania forbids that kind of expert testimony in rape cases. It’s the only state that does.”

Sociopath

I followed this case closely, and attended one day of the trial in Philadelphia. In my opinion, Jeffrey Marsalis is a sociopath.

Sociopaths are extremely sexual. In fact, all they really want in life is sex and power. Marsalis was alleged to have put a date-rape drug in the women’s drinks, so that the women could not resist him. It sure sounds like sex and power to me.

The women testified that he was a smooth-talking charmer. He told outrageous lies, and went to great lengths to make his stories seem true. When one woman wanted him to pay for an abortion, he became angry and told her she was mentally ill. Marsalis didn’t work—apparently his family paid his expenses. (His father retained the two high-powered defense attorneys.)

All of these behaviors are typical of a sociopath (or psychopath). But I did not hear of any testimony related to a psychological evaluation of Jeffrey Marsalis. The fact that he was a pathological liar was treated more like he had found a great way to meet women than as a possible symptom of a serious personality disorder—one that would make him quite capable of rape.

So Marsalis skated on the most serious charges. It was the second time—in January 2006, a different Philadelphia jury acquitted him of raping three other women.

But Marsalis faces yet another rape charge in Idaho. He is accused of assaulting a woman while awaiting his first trial in Philadelphia. According to police, that woman went to a hospital the next day. Maybe an Idaho jury will see Jeffrey Marsalis differently.

For more information on this case, visit www.philly.com and type “Jeffrey Marsalis” into the search box.



5 Comments on "Fake doctor Jeffrey Marsalis acquitted of date rape"

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  1. learningtofly says:

    Question:
    How does one come out of the “fog” once the “dust has settled? I can’t believe all the damage he has caused! which I didn’t see until NOW!?!? How does one learn to TRUST ANYONE again, after they have mainipulated everyone and everything around you? “Freinds and Family” included. This confusion from all of the “mind twisting” has me frightened. I don’t feel I can trust myself , as I don’t seem to be thinking clearly. This breaks my heart because I know I am an intelligent professional woman. I am learning not to “beat myself up” though, since it appears as though I have been taken by a “pro” for 17 years. Problem is he has started in on my daughter (my “Jugular”) , since he “can’t get to me” directly. She has no clue, as she only wants acceptance from her “father” who has been absent most of her life.
    HELP! please.



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  2. ErinBrock says:

    Isn’t there a Dr from N. Jersey who’s suspected currently on being the serial killer/rapist.
    I saw his wife interviewed last week…….Oh, what a wonderful man he is…..
    (and he may just be)……but why is it always the same story we women tell………
    No…..not my husband!

    One of the many lessons I’ve learned is…..NEVER put my words or reputation on the line to defend someone! NEVER!



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  3. ErinBrock says:

    Good nigh ya’ll……pleasant dreams!



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  4. skylar says:

    EB,
    I’ll dream of your smiley face!
    🙂
    🙂
    🙂
    🙂



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