St. Louis man arrested in weekend assault of Perryville woman

Wednesday, August 20, 2008
James Mueller
James Mueller

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- A St. Louis man faces 10 felony charges related to a sexual assault that occurred at a Perryville apartment complex.

James E. Mueller, 25, is being held on an $800,000 cash-only bond for two counts of forcible rape, two counts of forcible sodomy, one attempted forcible sodomy charge and five counts of armed criminal action.

Perryville police responded at about 5 p.m. Saturday to a report of a sexual assault at Hilltop Apartments. Officers arrived to find the female victim, who had been staying at the home of a friend, according to Perryville chief of police Keith Tarrillion.

The victim told police that she'd been in the shower when Mueller entered and showed her a box cutter, according to a probable-cause statement by Perryville Detective Direk L. Hunt. Mueller then held the blade to the victim's throat and raped her, the statement said.

Mueller abused the victim several times in the bathroom, the statement said, and at one point, she tried to stop the assault by kicking her assailant.

"This was a repeated attack. He assaulted her several different times," Tarrillion said.

The victim was treated at Perry County Memorial Hospital and released, he said.

Officers learned enough at the scene to make an arrest and found a box cutter-type knife in Mueller's possession when he was taken into custody the night of the attack.

During an interview with police, Mueller said he and the victim entered the shower together but denied the rape, the statement said.

The interview ended when Mueller requested an attorney.

Witnesses told police they saw Mueller attempting to kiss the victim earlier but that she pushed him away and refused his advances, the statement said.

Police have not released much information because of what the victim has suffered, Tarrillion said.

"She's been through a lot," he said.

Mueller was arrested for forcible rape and sodomy in 2006 in St. Louis, but records show no disposition of that case.

A check of Mueller's criminal history revealed several other felony arrests and one conviction, mostly in the St. Louis area, the statement said.

335-6611, extension 245

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