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Rape suspect's case headed for court

  • TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Leslie Setzer is shown being escorted by Palmerton Police to his preliminary hearing Thursday morning before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.
    TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Leslie Setzer is shown being escorted by Palmerton Police to his preliminary hearing Thursday morning before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.
Published January 16. 2010 09:00AM

A Monroe County man accused of raping and trying to kill a 91-year-old Palmerton woman will have his case sent to Carbon County court.

That was the ruling made against Leslie Setzer, 34, of 388 Race Street, East Stroudsburg, during a preliminary hearing Thursday before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.

Setzer is charged with criminal attempt to commit homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, four counts of aggravated indecent assault, and three counts of indecent assault for the incident that occurred in the victim's home on Nov. 28.

The hearing began when Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias called the victim to the stand.

During her testimony, the victim said Setzer knocked on her side/kitchen door and asked to use the phone.

The victim said she allowed Setzer into the home, at which time he provided her with a card and a phone number for her to call for him.

The victim stated that as Setzer talked with her, he told her his mother's last name was Setzer, and that she lives out on Little Gap Road.

The victim said Setzer then asked to use her bathroom. On his way out, the victim said Setzer went into the kitchen and began to walk out the door, at which point the victim said Setzer "goosed" her.

The victim said she then sternly told Setzer to "get going, get going." At that point, the victim said she turned around, at which point Setzer re-entered the home and knocked her down.

The victim said she tried to "bite him, push him, but he was too much for me." The victim said she then blacked out, and that while she couldn't swear to it, said she thought Setzer raped her.

The victim said the next thing she remembers is vomiting in the bathroom, and seeing her left arm bleeding profusely.

The victim said she was on the floor in the bedroom on her back, when she remembered Setzer undressing her.

The victim said Setzer then removed her medical alert necklace, at which point he raped her.

Afterward, the victim said Setzer went into the bathroom and emerged with a brush, which he hit her with on her forehead at least two times.

At that point, the victim said she told Setzer "please, please don't hurt me. But that didn't do any good."

Then, the victim said Setzer went into the east bedroom, at which time he removed a pillow case, took the plastic cover and put it over her head.

After she came to, the victim said there "must have been a guardian angel or something that I did not suffocate."

The victim, lying on her back, then looked around the room and believed she was all alone. She said she then closed the door and locked it.

The victim said there was a phone in the room that she was able to pull herself up to and call 911.

At that, the victim said patrolman Kevin Buck arrived at her home. From there, she said she was transported to Palmerton Hospital.

Buck then proceeded to the hospital to speak with the victim, who told him the male she described at the residence had sexually assaulted her on two different occasions, once in the hallway downstairs, and again in the upstairs bedroom where she was found.

The victim told Buck that the male was wearing a navy blue sweat shirt and brown shoes.

As his next witness, Dobias called a nurse who works in the emergency room at Palmerton Hospital to the stand.

The nurse said she took the call from one of the hospital's medics that afternoon who said the victim was in need of help.

Once the victim arrived, the nurse said it was the "worst case of rape and beating I have ever seen."

As the victim was describing the male, the nurse told Buck that a male wearing that clothing, matching the description provided by the victim, arrived at the emergency room wanting to sign himself in stating he needed help.

The nurse said Setzer was "extremely agitated", and "not in his usual state."

During the hearing, the nurse said Setzer often came to the emergency room, either by ambulance or by himself seeking care.

The nurse said Setzer had previously been placed in a hospital for mental issues, and added that to her knowledge, Setzer also had a history of drugs.

Dobias then called Buck to the stand as his next witness.

Upon arrival, Buck said he rang the doorbell but got no answer. He then entered into the house, when he heard a voice calling from upstairs for help.

Buck said he then knocked on the victim's bedroom door, which was locked. Once he opened the door, Buck said he found the victim lying "bloodied, beaten, and with swelling beginning."

After the testimony, Setzer's attorney asked to have the second charge of rape against Setzer dropped because the victim's testimony "does not support the second [rape]."

The request was denied by Appleton. Later in the hearing, Setzer told Appleton he "didn't want to not plead guilty", at which point his attorney told him to be quiet.

Prior to the ruling, Dobias asked Appleton to add a charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against Setzer. The charge was added.

Appleton then ruled that bail be continued at $1 million straight. Setzer remains incarcerated in Carbon County Prison.

After the hearing, as he was being escorted outside the office by police, Setzer admitted some of what he's accused of doing.

He admitted to being at the alleged crime scene, but denied raping the victim.

Setzer then said the victim "tried to knock me down."

Setzer then said he planned to plead guilty "to whatever they have for me."

The TIMES NEWS is withholding the name of the victim.

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