A man who stabbed a woman with a syringe at an Anne Arundel County grocery store last year was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.
In February 2020, Thomas Stemen, 52, approached a woman from behind and injected her buttocks with a semen-filled needle.
Victim Felt She Was Burned with a Cigarette
Stemen attacked Katie Peters at Christopher's Fine Foods on in Churchton. The incident was captured on surveillance video and footage shows Stemen pretending to bump into Peters as she was returning a shopping cart, jabbing her with a syringe he pulled from his pocket. The woman jumps, reacting as if pricked, and Stemen returns the item to his pocket.
After feeling the prick, Peters asked Stemen if he burned her with a cigarette and he replied: "Ya it felt like a bee sting didn't it," according to the police report. Watch the video below:
Peters reported the incident to the police and told them that she went home and noticed a small red spot that appeared to be a puncture wound on her buttocks and that she felt a wet substance on her pants after she felt the syringe prick. The wound turned into a large red area about four inches in diameter. She was prescribed a preventative medication cocktail for 30 days before police discovered the syringe was filled with semen.
Police Found Semen-Filled Syringes in Stemen's Car, At His Home
Police identified Stemen as the suspect, obtained a search warrant and found a hypodermic syringe with an unknown cloudy liquid in Stemen's car and a search of his Churchton home also led to the discovery of another syringe with a similar liquid and nine other empty syringes scattered around his house, including five without needles.
The liquid inside the syringes were sent to the lab for testing along with Stemen's DNA and it was confirmed to be his semen, as reported by the Capital Gazette. Police also found the clothes Stemen wore during the attack on the back of his bathroom door. His pants also had a substance on them later determined to be semen.
Stemen Pleaded Guilty in June
Stemen entered an Alford plea to first and second-degree assault in June, meaning Stemen maintains he is innocent but acknowledges the state has evidence that would likely convict him if his case went to trial.
According to authorities, he also tried to stab two other people before stabbing the woman. During his plea deal hearing, prosecutors saidOne of the intended victims was a 17-year-old girl, who Stemen told to walk ahead of him to enter the grocery store. Stemen had recently moved from Ohio and had six prior convictions on his record from 1986 to 1996.