Two more women testify they were drugged, then raped

Posted: May 30, 2007

Two more women testified yesterday that Jeffrey Marsalis drugged their drinks on dates and then raped them, but his attorneys suggested nights of romance and consensual sex.

"You don't remember holding hands?" asked defense lawyer Kevin Hexstall.

The first accuser yesterday, a 36-year-old nurse from South Jersey, said she had no memory of that.

What about sharing an umbrella in the pouring rain as they walked back to his apartment? What about kissing on his couch and then going to his bedroom to take off each other's clothes?

She had no memory of any of that, she said.

Defense lawyer Kathleen Martin asked the second accuser, a 32-year-old Philadelphia attorney, if she went to Marsalis' apartment to watch a DVD, enjoy a rooftop view of Center City, and cuddle and kiss before having sex.

The woman could not recall, she said.

What the women did recall, they testified, was that they met Marsalis, now 34, on Match.com, where he posted photos of himself as a doctor and astronaut.

The nurse described how they met online and agreed to a date in November 2004. Marsalis took her to Tira Na Nog in Center City, where over the course of more than three hours she drank three beers and a shot.

She said she did not recall leaving and her next memory was being in his apartment.

"I felt very sedated, very foggy," she said.

She said she found herself on top of him having sex and with him yelling at her that she was being too loud. He accused her of saying someone else's name during sex. When she tried to leave, he pushed her back on the bed, she said, and told her to "just sleep it off."

She woke again and eventually left accompanied by Marsalis, but she said she could barely focus on basic actions such as walking to her car.

When she found out her cash was gone, she said Marsalis blew up: "Now I gotta walk you to a ... MAC machine?"

They walked to an ATM and she took out $60. Twenty was for parking. She said Marsalis demanded the remaining $40 to cover her part of the date.

Dr. George Seretis, a doctor who works with the victim, testified that the "visibly upset" nurse approached him two days later and said: "I think I was date-raped."

They found information on a federal government Web site about how certain drugs stay in the body only for a few hours and that testing would cost hundreds of dollars.

The date was on a Friday and it was now Monday evening, and both agreed that the test would be pointless.

Seretis said he suggested that she go to the police or hospital, but she declined.

The attorney was in law school when she went on a date with Marsalis in December 2004. She described only remembering bits of what occurred later in the evening as they returned to his apartment.

As she described being raped and other events from the night, Marsalis would roll his eyes or shake his head, as he has done when other female accusers have testified.

The lawyer did have one good thing to say about Marsalis, however.

He had, she said, the "the cleanest bathroom I had ever seen. It was clinical."

Until she vomited in there.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.

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