EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 8, 2013

UPDATE: Man held on $10K cash bail in attempted child assault

HAVERHILL — A 38-year-old Haverhill man has been charged with multiple offenses after a report that he took a photo under the skirt of a 7-year-old girl in a supermarket.

He was identified this morning as Stephen Hager, 38, of 15 Lawrence St.

Judge Patricia Dowling ordered Hager held on $10,000 cash bail during his arraignment in Haverhill District Court this morning.

Judge Dowling said if he posts bail, Hager will be under house arrest, will be connected to an electronic monitoring device, must stay away from persons under age of 18 and not use computers, cell phones of similar devices.

Hager, who was held overnight at the haverhill Police station following his arrest last night, was also ordered to remaon drug and alcohol free.

He is charged with attempted indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, attempted posing of a child for a sexual act and attempted photographing or electronic surveilling of a partially nude person.

Police Lt. Robert Pistone said the arrest was made after investigators received several tips from the public about the man’s identity.

The tips came after a photo of the man appeared on The Eagle-Tribune’s website. The photo was taken from a surveillance video in the Market Basket store in Westgate Plaza.

Pistone thanked the public for helping police on the case.

“We got a lot of tips,’’ he said. “We followed up on quite a few.’’

The incident leading to the arrest happened Monday about 1:30 p.m. The girl’s mother reported the man seemed to be stalking them in the store before reaching out with a cell phone and apparently taking a photo under the girl’s skirt.

The woman told police she became suspicious when a man began following her and her daughter around the grocery store. After a while she thought he was gone, so she continued with her shopping, she said.

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