The Voice criticizes the Todd/Marty storyline playing out on One Life to Live.
The Voice: Raping Marty Over Again
BY: Trish Mahon
Wednesday, November 5, 2:58 AM
“Not so high and mighty are you now, Miss Saybrooke”
Those words were uttered by Todd Manning (then Roger Howarth) after he and two of his frat brothers, Zach and Powell raped Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) at the Spring Fling in 1993. Michael Malone wrote a brilliant story where Marty the Party Girl was gang raped at the Kappa Alpha Delta fraternity, her decision to go to trial and several times when Todd made it his personal vendetta to destroy Marty’s life. Todd made a valiant effort but one thing about Marty is that no matter how many times Todd tried to destroy her, Marty always gathered her strength and battled back. Marty was a fighter and she never gave up, even when she named Kevin Buchanan (then Kirk Geiger) as one of her rapists when he was innocent. She admitted it on the stand even though she knew it could hurt her case.
"Tonight’s the night I get my sweet revenge"
The night of the Spring Fling began as a normal frat party would. Marty was Todd’s tutor and he didn’t pass one of his exams. Todd was kicked off the football team and wouldn’t graduate on time. He knew how angry his father would be. So that night, he had a score to settle with Marty. When Marty arrived at the KAD house, Todd set out to humiliate her. However, Marty always had a comeback that would humiliate Todd. Powell and Zach told Todd to give up, but he refused. He was bent on revenge. When he saw Kevin bring a heavily intoxicated Marty upstairs, an idea began to form in Todd’s mind. An idea that has defined Todd Manning for over a decade.
“Batter up Zach… Your turn Powell”
When Kevin comes downstairs, Todd, Zach and Powell went upstairs to find Marty passed out on Kevin’s bed. When Marty wakes up and sees the three of them, she instantly gets wary. As she gets up off the bed, Todd grabs her and tosses her around in the circle that the three have created, taunting her. Marty begs to be let out of the room, but they refuse. Powell is nervous and doesn’t want to hurt her, but Todd and Zach have no qualms about what they are going to do. Todd throws Marty on the bed as Zach orders Powell to lock the door. Todd brutally rapes Marty and when he finishes, tells Zach that it is his turn. Zach stuffs a sweatband in her mouth to keep her from screaming. Todd congratulates Zach and then the two urge Powell on. When the assault on Marty ends, the three go downstairs. Zach and Todd act like nothing happened while Powell’s conscience is eating him up. Soon Marty comes downstairs and as she leaves the party, Todd blows her a kiss.
“I forgive you Marty”
The rape trial begins. Todd, Powell, Zach and Kevin Buchanan were the defendants. In the middle of the trial, Marty realizes that Kevin didn’t rape her. She recants her testimony and Kevin is exonerated. However, Marty still presses forward with the trial. During the trial it is revealed that Todd has done this before. He raped a woman named Carol Swift. When Todd is on the witness stand, he goes as far as forgiving Marty for claiming that what happened the night of the Spring Fling was rape. The trial ends in a mistrial when Nora realizes that the three did in fact gang rape Marty. Todd threatens Nora that she will regret ever taking that case. He made good on that promise too. Nora was blinded and she was at a beach house . Todd tracked her down and terrorized her. He wasn’t done with Marty either. He tried to rape her again in the alley outside of Rodi’s. Luna (Susan Batten) came along and hit Todd with a pipe, causing the infamous scar that he always had until Trevor St. John took over the role. He also kidnapped more residents of Llanview than I can remember and has even shot and killed people. Has he ever been punished? Apparently not.
“You actually told me I wasn’t very good in bed”
Now we are in the present Marty has amnesia. Todd (now played by Trevor St John) has Marty staying at his home. At first, it seemed that Todd was playing a game with her. Five days after he moved Marty in with him and she started asking questions about the past. He answers her questions, with his version of the truth. He tells her that she was a psychologist, that she was party girl in college and that the two of them slept together. At this point there was no mention of the rape. He eventually tells her, but he never mentions his role in the brutal sexual assault. Marty even logs onto the computer and searches her name. A picture of her rapists come up, however since Todd has had plastic surgery she is looking at Roger Howarth’s Todd and not Trevor St. John. Todd catches her and calmly advises her to let the past go and not to bother looking at the names. She agrees and Marty and Todd start to fall into an easy friendship. I readily admit that I enjoyed watching this because it was like a psychological thriller. I figured that Marty would remember and she would have to reconcile her feelings of genuine friendship of the man that “saved” her and the man that was the ringleader of her gang rape.
“I was hoping this would happen…that we would find ourselves right here”
At this point, Marty accepts Todd at face value. Why wouldn’t she, he is helping her with her physical therapy and walking. So when she falls into his arms and he kisses her, there is none of the fear that Marty had fifteen years ago. It is clear that the two are starting to fall for each other. This is no longer a game for Todd, he is falling for her. They go out together on a drive in the country and even start to plan a future together. With their shared grandchild that he is going to steal from his daughter. Oh and she has no clue that she has had a marriage and a son.
Next week the two may have sex. Yet this is the woman Todd brutally raped and continually abused both physically and emotionally for years. I don’t care if it’s a sex dream or fantasy, this storyline has crossed the line and is no longer entertaining. This is no longer a psychological game anymore. Why must Marty constantly be raped? She had to relive her gang rape at her trial, Todd tried to rape her again and when she finds out that he raped her (and you know she will) it will be like she has been raped again.
Please Ron Carlivati, stop playing around with Marty’s rape. Michael Malone wrote a brilliant story that still has repercussions today. Even without Marty and Todd sex. The two will have a shared grandchild. That in of itself would have been an amazing storyline. I cannot think of a single good thing that will come out of this storyline and a PSA from RAINN doesn’t cut it. You never should have written this story. It’s disgraceful and offensive to every person who has ever been sexually assaulted. All your promises that this will have a huge payoff mean nothing. For every person who has been sexually assaulted, I implore you. Stop the rape of Marty Saybrooke.
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