Judge Sentences Churchton Man to 10 Years in Semen-Filled Grocery Store Attack Case

A man from Churchton has been sentenced to a decade in prison after entering an alford plea in connection with a bizarre attack at an area grocery store involving a syringe filled with his own semen. 

On September 10, 2021, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge sentenced Thomas Bryon Stemen, 54, to ten years in prison followed by 5 years of probation.  On June 17, 2021, that judge accepted the plea made by Stemen to one count of first degree assault for stabbing a woman with a semen-filled syringe outside of the grocery store, and one count of second degree assault for his contact with a 17-year-old girl who was not harmed.   

Under an alford plea, a defendant maintains he is innocent but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence that he could be found guilty at trial.

Stemen must also undergo a substance abuse and a mental health evaluation and receive treatment upon his release from prison. 

On February 18, 2020, police were notified of an assault that occurred in the parking lot of Christopher's Fine Foods located at 5570 Shady Side Road in Churchton. An adult female advised she was assaulted and poked with what was believed to be a syringe while walking through the parking lot. Surveillance video also showed the same man lunging at two additional female subjects.

On February 25, 2020, detectives received a tip identifying a potential suspect. Through investigative means, detectives were able to positively identify Stemen as the suspect. The Anne Arundel County Police Department later learned that the substance in the tested syringe was semen. He was placed under arrest where he was charged with first degree assault, second degree assault and reckless endangerment.