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“To a juror, a rapist is a guy who jumps out of the bushes and throws a woman to the ground,” Schafran explains.
“She has terrible injuries, and she leaps up and reports it immediately to the police.
Anything that falls short of that story is questionable.” Incredibly, that analysis holds true even in a situation as extreme as that of Marsalis.
What’s especially troubling is that the very things that some of his accusers speculate made the juries so skeptical are typical elements of nonstranger assaults.
“I would never think to be so cynical that I’d stand there and watch as he poured my drink,” remembers Leigh, a striking blonde (who, like all accusers in this article, is identified by her middle name). “Good morning,” Marsalis said, smiling and leaning in for a kiss; Leigh, stunned, kissed him back. I hope you did, too,” she says he told her, staring into her eyes. Baffling as her experience seemed on that day in February 2005, Leigh was only the latest woman to struggle with the same confusion.
“Plenty of women were attracted to him, but this guy was aroused by the very idea of nonconsent.” As Leigh drove home that morning, she had no idea what lay in her future: that she would join 9 of those 21 accusers to face Marsalis in Philadelphia courtrooms over the course of two trials, telling nearly identical stories of assault.“You hate to tell people that we have such terrible success with these cases at trial, because it makes victims think, Well then, why press charges?” says retired police sergeant Joanne Archambault, president and training director of Sexual Assault Training and Investigations, also in Addy, Washington, a firm that educates law enforcement about rape.Nonstranger rape is a distinct crime whose survivors exhibit equally distinct behaviors — the very actions the Marsalis defense used against his accusers.It makes you wonder: If these 10 women didn’t get a satisfying result, what chance does anyone have in a date rape case?