When he introduced himself to the young women he met online, the 30-year-old man seemed attractive and put together, police said.
“He comes across as very charming, very compassionate — nice guy,” Bethlehem, Penn., Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said at a news conference Friday.
But Seth Mull, of Hellertown, Penn., wasn’t what he first appeared, according to police.
“Once he gets them alone, he turns into the opposite,” DiLuzio said.
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Prosecutors in Pennsylvania called Mull a “serial predator” at a news conference Friday, saying the 30-year-old man may have left rape and assault victims across the state and even the country, from Bethlehem to Chicago, and as far afield as San Diego and Honolulu.
Police said they didn’t realize how widespread the alleged crimes were until they started investigating Mull in October, after a woman’s parents called Bethlehem police to say their daughter was being imprisoned in a hotel room.
“The female had visible injuries to her neck area and a burn mark from a torch on her back. She reported that Mull choked her to the point of passing out and raped her,” District Attorney John Morganelli said Friday. “Mull also threatened her family and her friends, and threatened to use her in human trafficking.”
He told the 24-year-old victim that she was his property, police said, and forced her to use drugs — holding her at the hotel for 24 hours, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
“Mull had a person deliver some methamphetamine to the room so he could make her ingest more,” police said, according to the newspaper.
Mull had met that 24-year-old victim on Plenty of Fish, prosecutors said. Mull also used social media and other dating platforms like Tinder to meet victims, authorities said at Friday’s news conference. He had multiple Facebook profiles, too, they said.
Once he’d lured women in, prosecutors said, he’d become cruel. He would also get them hooked on narcotics and methamphetamine so they would depend on him for drugs, authorities said. He would even threaten to sell them into sex trafficking, they said.
“Mull forces women to be his sex slaves by presenting women with a sex slave contract,” Morganelli said. “We’re very concerned about the number of victims out there.”
After Mull was arrested in Bethlehem in October, he was charged with rape, strangulation, assault, false imprisonment and related charges, prosecutors said Friday.
But when Bethlehem detectives started publicizing his picture online and in the media, six to eight other women in the area started to come forward with chilling stories — relaying tales of assault, forced pornography and sex trafficking, prosecutors said.
“We need to locate victims,” DiLuzio said. “If you know this individual, if you’ve been victimized by him, you need to come forward.”
The investigation into Mull also revealed that he had accessed human trafficking and sex slave websites, prosecutors said.
Other jurisdictions have also charged Mull with sex crimes.
Mull held a woman against her will at a Philadelphia Marriott earlier this year, according to police, after luring her with the promise of concert tickets. He allegedly attacked the 25-year-old for four days, ABC 6 reports.
Mull has also been accused of rape in Hanover Township, Penn., where police said he raped a 19-year-old woman when he was unable to convince her to have sex with him and another woman, the Allentown Morning Call reports.
“He travels, and he leaves behind the carnage,” DiLuzio said.