A naval investigator testified yesterday that he seized a large metal pot, similar to one a young woman said she saw in her assailant's car before he raped and choked her, at the home of Marine Cpl. Lindsey Scott the day after the 1983 incident at Quantico Marine Corps base.

Meanwhile, the attorneys defending Scott at his retrial continued in their cross-examination to portray the investigation of the assault as a slipshod attempt to railroad a promising young Marine, thereby furnishing a hasty resolution of a racially charged case. Scott is black; the woman is white.

David C. Martin, a Naval Investigative Service agent, testified that Scott's wife Lolita offered him the pot and that Scott was not at home in his Dumfries apartment at the time.

When Scott saw him at headquarters a short while later, Martin said, he "seemed startled that we had his pot."

"Corporal Scott and I were good friends," Martin testified. "I didn't at that time feel he was a suspect." He added: "We wanted really to eliminate him {as a suspect} because he was part of the investigative arm" of the Marines.

Scott, who was a criminal investigator-in-training until he was accused of rape, attempted murder, sodomy and kidnaping, is facing his second court-martial on the charges in less than five years.

His first trial resulted in conviction and a sentence of 30 years at hard labor, but that outcome was overturned on appeal last summer based on the failure of Scott's former civilian attorney to prepare a competent defense.

At his first trial in October 1983, Scott referred to a green plastic mop bucket but denied having had a silver-colored pot, such as the one the victim described, in his car.

Scott's wife also testified in the previous court-martial that she told Martin and another investigator that Scott had used the green bucket on April 20, 1983 -- the day of the attack -- to clean out the apartment from which they had recently moved. Lolita Scott said she told the agent that her husband had not used the metal pot, but that he insisted on taking it anyway.

Scott's wife has not yet testified in the trial now under way, which may last into next week.

The victim, then the 23-year-old wife of a military policeman who worked with Scott, has testified that she was tricked into accepting a ride from a man who identified himself as an investigator, said her husband was hurt and offered to take her to see him in the hospital. Instead, she said, he drove to a remote, wooded area where he attacked her.

While they were driving, she said, she noticed a large metal pot in the back seat, and she said she heard things clanking around in it.

At one point before the man attacked her, she said, he reached back into the bucket and said he was looking for his police radio because they were lost.

Martin also reaffirmed testimony by a Prince William County police officer who testified last week that when the police searched Scott's car the day after the incident, the front seat's passenger side had been wiped down in an apparent effort to eliminate evidence of the attack.

"It would have been obvious to the village idiot," said Martin. "Anyone could tell it had been wiped down."

Gary R. Myers, one of Scott's three attorneys, repeatedly pointed to what he hinted were flaws in the investigation, which he scorned as "a day late and a dollar short." On a number of occasions, he asked why a cigarette butt on the floor of the passenger side of the car -- depicted in a police photo of Scott's car -- had not been seized as evidence. (Both the woman and her assailant smoked in the car before the attack, she testified.)

In addition, Myers suggested that the victim's description of a black assailant had sparked racist fervor at the Marine base.

Martin acknowledged that the case stirred emotions at the base, but denied any racial element in the reaction.