ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County officials announced that 52-year-old Thomas Stemen of Churchton was sentenced to ten years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for stabbing a woman with a semen-filled syringe outside a grocery store.
Stemen pleaded guilty to one count of felony first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault. He must also undergo a substance abuse and a mental health evaluation and receive treatment upon his release from prison.READ MORE: 'This Is 10K People Who Have Died' Maryland Woman Shares Story After Mom Dies From COVID-19, Urges People To Get Vaccinated
“The defendant’s actions were truly horrific,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “He intentionally went out into our community with the goal of assaulting unsuspecting women. With this sentence, he will be removed from our community for a long time. I am thankful for the citizens who identified him from video released by law enforcement and that the survivors are able to move forward after this senseless assault.”
Officials said on Feb. 18, 2020, a woman called to report an assault that occurred earlier that day in the parking lot of Christopher’s Grocery Store Edgewater. She told officers while she putting back her shopping cart, a white male bumped into her and she then felt a pain in her buttocks.
She said she jumped back and asked the man if he burned her with a cigarette. He responded with “Ya, it felt like a bee sting, didn’t it?” Once she was home, she observed a small red spot and what appeared to be a puncture wound on her buttocks. She said she also felt a wet substance on her pants after the assault occurred.
Police reviewed the surveillance video which showed a white male walking up behind the victim, pulling something out of his pocket and pushing it against her.READ MORE: ‘This Loss Is Ours As A City’ Baltimore Hockey Team Mourns Two Young Members, Murdered In East Baltimore Shooting
The surveillance video also showed the same man lunging at two additional female subjects.
The next day, the victim observed a large round red area on her buttocks where she was attacked and sought treatment at an area hospital.
Stemen was identified by tips from the community and was arrested. A search warrant was obtained for the defendant’s residence and vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, officers found a large syringe in the driver’s side door that had an unknown liquid inside.
There were additional syringes found in the defendant’s residence, including one syringe containing an unknown substance. Also recovered at the home was the same sweatshirt, pants and shoes that Stemen was seen wearing on the surveillance video.
The syringes were sent to the crime lab for DNA analysis and police obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s DNA. The substance inside the syringe found in Stemen’s river’s side door was identified as semen and a DNA match.MORE NEWS: Local Small Business Owners Share How American Rescue Plan Funding Helped To Keep Them Afloat
Stemen also pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for his contact with a 17-year-old girl who was not harmed.