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“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.“He seemed a little full of himself,” Leigh recalls; still, she was having a good time. Their date was in its fourth hour when Marsalis ordered a carafe of white wine, and Leigh excused herself. Finally, she opened her eyes to an apartment filled with late-morning light.“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.Cases still hard to win When it comes to rape prosecutions as a whole, so much has changed for the better: Thirty years’ worth of advocacy, better investigation techniques and tighter laws have led more women than ever to come forward and report the crime to police.But in cases of nonstranger rape — which represent three quarters of all rape cases in the United States — all that progress often comes screeching to a halt in the deliberation room.

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It doesn’t fit with most people’s misguided concept of rape, for example, that Marsalis’s accusers went out with him willingly — thinking him a worldly doctor, the embodiment of Mr.

Even fewer, 29 percent, of intimate partners and exes are punished.

“And keep in mind, the cases that come through the prosecutor’s door are the strongest ones — strong enough for the police to have referred them along in the first place,” notes EVAW International research director Kimberly Lonsway, Ph. Back in the 1970s, most reported rapes were committed by strangers; those cases are now in the minority.

Right — and were initially enjoying their evening with him.

As the defense hammered home, none of the women stormed to the nearest police station or went to a hospital for a rape exam and toxicology test.

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