Lehigh Valley

Northampton DA wants to try Philadelphia case at trial of alleged serial rapist

Seth Mull is accused in a series of rapes

EASTON, Pa. - The Northampton County District Attorney’s Office is asking a judge to allow an out-of-county case against a suspected serial rapist to be heard alongside three other similar cases.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Majewski will make arguments Friday before Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta as to why the four cases against Seth Mull should be joined in one trial. The 30-year-old stands accused of holding four women against their will, forcing them to take drugs, raping them and allowing other men to rape the victims.

Authorities have charged Mull in connection to three such cases in Northampton County and have transferred a similar case from Philadelphia. The alleged attack in Philadelphia happened in the same roughly eight-week period as the other three.

Prosecutors are asking to join all four cases to save the court from hearing separate jury trials. The three cases from Northampton County had been joined for the purposes of a preliminary hearing, and prosecutors argue the judge has the same discretion for trial.

The district attorney’s office argues in its motion that the cases only need to show “shared similarities in the details of each crime” to be consolidated. Trying all four cases at the same time is also allowable when the evidence of each crime would be admissible at trial for the others, according to court papers.

Prosecutors cited a previous Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that allowed two rapes about seven months apart with two victims to be tried together. The defendant was an x-ray technician who raped two woman, who each sustained a head injury, as they awaited x-rays.

The court found there were sufficient similarities between the cases, including where and when the rapes occurred, the victims’ injuries and how the suspect assaulted the women.

In Mull’s case, the four victims were between 26 and 19 years old, and the alleged attacks occurred between Sept. 1 and Oct. 27, 2017. In each case, Mull is accused of taking the women to a hotel and forcing them to drink alcohol and take drugs. Each victim was then allegedly held against her will, assaulted and raped.

In the Philadelphia case, the victim was held for four days, and Mull, at one point, allegedly bound her hands and feet with duct tape and blindfolded her. He allegedly allowed other men to rape the victim for money, according to prosecutors.

In Northampton County, authorities allege Mull attacked the victims at three different Bethlehem hotels. In at least one case, he allowed two men to have sex with the victim for money, and in another he allegedly forced the victim to contact men to pay for sex.

Authorities allege Mull also threatened to kill the victims and their families, if they didn’t comply.
Prosecutors call the similarities between the four cases “overwhelming.” And while the cases are “staggeringly similar,” a jury can separate, for instance, the Philadelphia case because it happened in a different location to a different victim with slightly different circumstances.

Mull was arrested last October and remains in Northampton County Prison after failing to post $1.2 million bail. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced in December that additional victims came forward after Mull’s arrest, and that investigators received complaints about the 30-year-old from as far away as California and Hawaii.

Mull, who faces 38 criminal charges, retained new attorneys in May, and his case is scheduled for trial in October.


DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars

Lehigh Valley News

Latest From The Newsroom