Lehigh Valley

DA: Bethlehem rape suspect may be a predator

Investigators are looking for more victims

EASTON, Pa. - The man arrested for allegedly holding a woman against her will inside a Bethlehem hotel and raping her is suspected of raping other women across the country.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced Friday that Seth R. Mull is suspected in a series of rapes of women he met through social media and attempted to lure into human trafficking.

Bethlehem police arrested the 30-year-old in October after a woman accused him of refusing to let her leave a hotel room for about 24 hours and raping her several times. After the story of Mull's October arrest became public, authorities received several more complaints from women alleging he sexually assaulted them and held them against their will, Morganelli said during a Friday news conference.

Bethlehem police reached out to law enforcement around the country and found there were complaints about Mull from as far away as California and Hawaii, he said.

Morganelli said investigators believe there are more victims out there, including from the Lehigh Valley. Police believe that six to eight women from the area have filed complaints against him.

Mull, who is originally from Warren County, N.J., would use social media to ask victims on dates before trying to lure them into human trafficking, Morganelli said. Police recovered computers and steroids from the home where he was staying.

Court records show an inactive set of charges filed by the Colonial Regional Police Department on Nov. 16. The rape, indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault offenses allegedly occurred in September, according to records.

In the Bethlehem case, the victim told police that she had met Mull through the on-line dating service, “Plenty of Fish,” and that the two had spoken for about a week before agreeing to meet at the Holiday Inn Express in the 2200 block of Cherry Lane, according to court records. She reported willingly having sex with him, before he became aggressive and told the victim that she “was his property,” according to records.

The victim told Mull that she no longer wanted to have sex with him and that she wanted to leave. But he allegedly told the victim that she wasn’t allowed to refuse him and that he would kill her, her family and her friends, reminding the woman that he knew where she lived, police said.

Mull allegedly told the woman repeatedly that she "now belonged to him."

The victim alleges Mull also forced her do lines of cocaine, smoke methamphetamine and take several Benadryl tablets.

The victim told police that Mull burned her with a cigarette lighter, hit her, choked her and had someone deliver more meth to the hotel room.

Investigators said a search of the hotel room turned up a broken meth pipe, a glass pipe used to smoke pot, a small baggie of suspected meth and empty baggies containing drug residue.

Court records indicated that Mull has a juvenile record for sexual assault. He now faces charges of rape, false imprisonment, strangulation, terroristic threats, simple assault, unlawful restraint and a handful of drug charges.

If you are or think you've come in contact with a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

You can remain anonymous, and be connected with a local advocacy group. 


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