Mehtala 'guilty' of rapeA Superior man who raped three women in Superior last summer pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of second-degree sexual assault in Burnett County Circuit Court.
A Superior man who raped three women in Superior last summer pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of second-degree sexual assault in Burnett County Circuit Court.
The plea came nine days after the man, 28-year-old Craig Allen Mehtala, pleaded guilty to three similar counts in Douglas County. A second count of battery was dismissed but read in for sentencing in the Burnett County case.
Sentencing for Mehtala was set for early August, after sentencing occurs in the Douglas County case. Mehtala’s attorney, Chris Gramstrup, said he and Burnett County District Attorney William Norine plan to jointly recommend a 33-year prison sentence, with eight years of initial confinement and 25 years of extended supervision, to run concurrent with the Douglas County sentence. Earlier this month in Douglas County Court, Assistant District Attorney Lance Nelsen told Judge Kelly Thimm that he has agreed to cap his sentence recommendation at 50 years, with 25 years of initial confinement and 25 years of extended supervision. Thimm is the judge for both the Douglas and Burnett county cases.
The Burnett County charge stems from a 2006 incident in which a woman leaving a bar alone was “jumped from behind” by an unknown assailant who slammed her into the roadway so hard he broke her breastbone and finger before dragging her into a ditch and sexually assaulting her, according to the criminal complaint. The cold case was reopened after DNA evidence from a similar crime in Superior was matched to DNA evidence collected in the 2006 case.
Superior Police were able to connect Mehtala to three separate stranger sex assaults in the city. In all four assaults, a woman walking alone in the early morning hours was attacked from behind by an unknown male and sexually assaulted.
Mehtala remains in custody in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of a combined $12,500 bail.