Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glenn Marcus: The S&M Svengali

The First Trial


The first trial revealed all the sordid details. Marcus' other slaves testified, including Rona, the roommate, who contended that he was "a lot of fun." The defense protested that Jodi's continued association with the defendant meant that she had been consorting with him consensually and that the lawsuit was a way to get back at him for retaining the photos.

The prosecution argued that she had been living in fear and had been brainwashed by him.

In the decision New York Judge Allyne R. Ross wrote, "The court acknowledges that the issue of whether the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used non-consensual force, fraud or coercion to cause Jodi to engage in a commercial sex act is difficult and complicated."

Of course, it would seem hard to argue that such a violent relationship could be consensual, especially for jurors of conventional sexual practices, for whom being tied up during sex at all might seem beyond the pale.

In fact, the jury was discriminating: After seven days of deliberations, they acquitted him of the obscenity charges, but convicted him of the sex trafficking and forced labor charges. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

He immediately appealed the ruling, which landed in the hands of future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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