Marine Cpl. Lindsey Scott's lead attorney yesterday mounted a vigorous cross-examination, by turns incredulous and sarcastic, but in the end he failed to sway a 27-year-old woman who testified that Scott raped her in 1983 at Quantico Marine Corps base.

The woman, in her second day of testimony at Scott's second court-martial in five years, said her attacker's face had been four to six inches from hers during the rape and, later, when he cut her throat and attempted to strangle her.

"Four to six inches and you don't remember the gold tooth?" asked John F. Leino, one of Scott's two civilian attorneys, referring to his client's prominent gold front tooth.

"I didn't see his teeth," the woman said.

In cross-examination, Leino suggested that the woman had been prompted by Marine Corps prosecutors into identifying Scott; that she may have recognized his face not from the attack but from the apartment complex where they both lived; that she had changed her testimony from the original court-martial to incorporate evidence that government lawyers relayed to her.

He returned again and again to the woman's initial uncertainty in identifying Scott from photographs and in a lineup days after the April 20, 1983, assault. Both times, she pointed out Scott, but in each instance she also remarked that one other man also resembled the assailant.

"I wasn't 100 percent sure, I was 99.9 percent sure," the woman acknowledged, fighting back tears. "I'm as sure as anybody can ever be, sir.

"What I was thinking at the time {of the lineup} was that unless this person has a twin, someone who looks exactly like him, then he is my attacker because he looks exactly like him . . . . I'm just trying to remember the best I can."

The chief military investigator in the 1983 probe of Scott testified Tuesday that the victim said she "did not get a good enough look" at Scott to identify him positively from the photos or lineup.

It was not until Scott's first court-martial in October 1983 that she identified him unequivocally. That identification was a major factor in his conviction and sentence to 30 years at hard labor.

The conviction was overturned last summer by the nation's highest military appeals court because Scott's original civilian attorney, whom he selected from the Yellow Pages, had failed to prepare a competent defense.

In other testimony yesterday, three men who took part in the 1983 investigation said Scott's behavior was unusual the morning after the attack, before he had become the prime suspect.

Scott's supervisor at the time, Staff Sgt. Andrew Bryant, said Scott came over to his desk in the criminal investigations division office and picked up some notes on the attack. According to Bryant, it was "kind of odd" for Scott to do that.

The other two witnesses -- one a former Marine investigator at Quantico and the other an agent of the Naval Investigative Service -- said Scott asked them if they thought he was a suspect. "I was startled initially," said NIS special agent Kenneth P. Rogers, who is now assigned to counterintelligence work in New York. "I had never had someone ask me if they were a suspect in a case when they really had no reason to think they were."

The other witness, investigator Jeffrey T. Bittner, also said Scott asked him "out of the clear blue" about forensic evidence in rape cases.

Bittner acknowledged that as early as the morning after the attack there had "been some speculation" about Scott because he met the victim's general description of a black man of medium build with glasses.

In cross-examination, Scott's attorneys made the point that in asking about forensic evidence and reviewing the case notes, Scott was simply exhibiting the ordinary professional curiosity that might be expected of an investigator in training. They suggested that Scott was railroaded by investigators who wanted a quick arrest in the crime, one of the most serious in recent years at the military base.

Scott has repeatedly maintained his innocence of the charges, which in addition to rape and attempted murder include abduction and sodomy.

The woman was attacked after she received a call from a man who said he was from the criminal investigations division, Scott's unit. The caller said her husband had been in an accident and offered to drive her to the hospital. Instead, he took her to an isolated, wooded area of Quantico where the assault took place.