The below story, is taken from the Philadelphia Enquirer in its entirety. (10-13-07)
Marsalis gets 10 to 20 years in date-rape cases
By Dwight Ott
Inquirer Staff Writer
Before a courtroom filled with women who had accused of him of plying them with drink and deceit, and then raping them, Jeffrey Marsalis was sentenced yesterday to the maximum, and given a lifetime label intended to warn potential victims.
Common Pleas Court Judge Steven R. Geroff sentenced Marsalis, 34, to 10 to 20 years in prison, and added that once released from prison, he would have to report under Megan's Law to let others know the threat that he poses.
"I believe you are a menace to the women who you meet on the Internet or in any manner - even at a long distance," Geroff said. "What you were was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Your lifestyle was a fantasy, but what happened to your victims was reality."
Wearing a buzz cut and displaying blue eyes that swept the room, Marsalis pleaded no contest during yesterday's hearing to an unlawful imprisonment charge that merited him an additional 10 to 12 months in jail.
Nearly a dozen women sat in three rows, one of them in a wheelchair, clutching tissues and watching the proceedings with red-eyed attention. They smiled for the first time on hearing the judge's ruling.
"Thank God," said one.
Marsalis - who had been charged with assaulting seven women between 2003 to 2005 - was convicted in June of sexually assaulting two women. The trial lasted three weeks and was filled with accounts of his using the Web dating site Match.com to pose as an astronaut, a doctor, and even a secret agent to lure women.
Before the sentencing, psychologist Barry Zakireh testified that Marsalis met the criteria of a sexual offender and qualified for restrictions imposed by Megan's Law, including leafleting neighborhoods and posting alerts on the Internet.
Kevin E. Hexstall, a lawyer for Marsalis, said of the Megan's Law decision: "I believe it is punitive because it does not allow my client a subsequent review. . . . It doesn't allow for reevaluation."
Marsalis was convicted of sexual assault, not rape, Hexstall said. Under the law, rape involves force, and sexual assault involves a classification where force does not have to be proven.
"I think the commonwealth has fallen short of its burden of proof," Hexstall said.
Zakireh testified that in some cases, Marsalis wore surgical scrubs and carried medical books as part of his ruse.
But Hexstall argued that since Marsalis had been a nursing student at the Hahnemann nursing school, that was to be expected.
Hexstall felt his client was guilty of nothing more than masquerading while his intoxicated clients agreed to consensual sex. (Note - there is no such thing as consensual sex when the woman is drunk, sleeping, or drugged. All sex when intoxicated is considered to be assaultive.)
One woman, a dietitian, testified that she met Marsalis on Match.com.
They agreed to meet in person in central Philadelphia. He told her he was a doctor and a former flight surgeon, and flashed a badge to spirit them to the head of the line outside bars.
But the woman said that after a drink or two, her vision blurred, she began to feel woozy, she developed a pounding headache, and she became so uncoordinated that she tripped and fell.
She said she hung on to Marsalis, who assured her he was an emergency-room doctor and knew what to do. She said that despite her protestations, she was raped, but did not remember the incident until the next day.
Marsalis still faces sexual-assault charges in Idaho.
This is the textbook definition of a psychopath - one who cares only for his own sexual pleasure and perversion. This "man" should not be spending 10 to 20 years, but 30 to 60 years in prison. In Pennsylvania, the legal difference between sexual assault and rape is use of force in rape vs. lack of force in sexual assault, but the victims called it what it is - rape. Sexual predation occurs with frightening regularity, and just like those who prey on children, not all of them fit the stereotypical mold.
Philly Daily News Coverage of Marsalis Sentencing