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Man sentenced for using syringes filled with bodily fluid to poke woman at grocery store

Thomas Bryon Stemen
Posted at 11:52 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 16:10:00-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A man has been sentenced to 10-years behind bars for poking a woman with a syringe inside a Churchton grocery store back in February of 2020.

More than a year later, Thomas Bryon Stemen submitted an Alford plea on one count each of first and second degree assault.

The plea is not an admission of guilt but acknowledges enough evidence exists to convict.

Police obtained surveillance video showing Stemen poking one woman and trying to stick two others at Christopher's grocery store on Shady Side Road.

When the victim recalled asking Stemen if he'd burned her with a cigarette, he replied, “Ya, it felt like a bee sting, didn’t it?”

RELATED: Accused syringe stabber also tried getting others at grocery store

Investigators found out where Stemen lived through a protective order previously filed against him, and served a search and seizure warrant on both his home and vehicle.

That turned up multiple syringes containing bodily fluids matching Stemen's DNA. Police also recovered the clothing Stemen was seen on video wearing the day of the assault.

READ MORE: Suspect in syringe stabbing had multiple semen filled syringes

According to a police report, the victim suffered pain and a large red mark from the syringe which forced her to have to go to the hospital, to undergo testing and receive preventative medication.

“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."

Stemen has been held without bail since his arrest. Upon release, Stemen will serve five-years supervised probation and have to undergo a mental health evaluation.