A man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after prosecutors say he stabbed a woman with a syringe filled with semen at a Maryland grocery store.
Thomas Stemen, 52, was sentenced in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Tuesday on charges of first and second-degree assault in the February 2020 incident at a supermarket in Churchton, Maryland, said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess in a statement.
He entered an Alford plea, meaning he plead guilty without admitting to committing the crime, and his jail time will be followed by five years of probation.
“The defendant’s actions were truly horrific,” she said. “He intentionally went out into our community with the goal of assaulting unsuspecting women.”
In February 2020, a female shopper reported she had been assaulted while returning her cart in a grocery store parking lot, according to the statement.
Surveillance video showed Stemen following the woman into the store’s cart area and taking something out of his pocket before bumping into her. The woman backs out of the store and he continues to follow her.
The woman told police she asked him if she had been burned with a cigarette and the suspect replied, “Ya, it felt like a bee sting, didn’t it?”
Later, the woman said she discovered a small, red puncture wound. The wound started to swell the next day and she sought medical treatment.
After Anne Arundel County police released the video and asked the public for information, they received a tip that led them to Stemen. He was arrested days later and officials found the clothes worn during the attack and additional syringes in his car and home during a search.
Days after Stemen’s arrest, the liquid inside matched his DNA and a crime lab identified it as semen.
Stemen was also seen on surveillance video lunging at two other women, including a 17-year-old girl, according to prosecutors.
Stemen is being held at Jennifer Road Detention Center, according to jail records.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Man stabbed woman with semen-filled needle, gets 10 years in prison