A closer look at Jeffrey J. Marsalis

Posted: June 02, 2007

Q: Where is Marsalis from?

A: According to database records, Jeffrey Jevne Marsalis has lived in various places: Kent, Wash.; Park City, Utah; Cave Creek, Ariz.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Philadelphia.

Here, he lived at the Metropolitan Apartments, 15th Street near Arch, Center City, and the Left Bank apartments, 31st and Walnut streets, University City.

Q: What charges is he fighting?

A: Raping and sexually assaulting seven women in the Philadelphia area from January 2003 to March 2005. He also is charged with impersonating a public servant.

Prosecutors contend the women were drugged. He met six of them on Match.com.

Q: What does the defense say?

A: The women consented to sex after drinking alcohol. There was no evidence of drugging. And the women only claimed rape after authorities tracked them down and told them Marsalis was not who he claimed to be.

Q: Who did he say he was?

A: To most women, he claimed to be an emergency-room doctor. He also said he was an astronaut and a military flight surgeon in Afghanistan, among other things. He told his ex-fiancee, Jessika Rovell, he was a CIA agent.

Q: How could the women - educated professionals - believe his fictional biographies?

A: Marsalis looked the part and showed the women identification badges and photos to back up his made-up careers, according to the women's testimonies.

And he "seemed like an average guy, very nice," one woman said.

Even Rovell, who dated him for three years, testified that she had believed he was a doctor. "He was always dressed in scrubs," she testified.

Marsalis also showed her a document, the cover page of which indicated he worked for the CIA. He introduced her to a friend, Greg, whom he claimed he was recruiting into the agency.

Doris Mordecai, a Metropolitan front-desk receptionist, also believed Marsalis was a doctor. She regularly saw him dressed in hospital scrubs and a white doctor's coat, she testified.

Q: His best quote?

A: Rovell: "He told me he was trying to get into astronaut-training school because he wanted to have something to do after he was done killing people in the CIA." *

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