10:50 a.m. UPDATE: Judge sets bail at $10K cash. If Hager makes bail, he will require GPS. ADA said Hager's family members identified him in the Market Basket surveillance video. Prosecutor said Hager admitted he took the picture of the 7-year-old girl and also admitted to similar activities and viewing child porn.
(NECN: Scot Yount, Haverhill, Mass.) – Thursday morning, a Massachusetts man will go before a judge, charged with an outrageous crime. Police say he followed a mother and her young daughter through a Haverhill supermarket and then did the unthinkable. Surveillance video caught the alleged crime on camera.
"We had an upset mother, who was in the store with her daughter," said Chief Detective Lt. Robert Pistone.
It worked. Police wanted to catch this man, and so they released surveillance video of him apparently stalking a 7-year-old girl and her mother. He is alleged to eventually approach the child while her mother's back was turned. The mother didn't see what happened next but thought the man had touched her daughter inappropriately.
The mother followed the man as he left the store and alerted store management; police were summoned.
"We saw that he actually leaned down with a cell phone and snapped a picture of the 7-year-old female, underneath her skirt," Pistone said.
The video from this Market Basket store clearly shows the man and his face, which generated enough tips from the public to arrest 38-year-old Stephen J. Hager of Haverhill.
"Little did she know that there was a party that was literally stalking her for 20 odd minutes, stalking her daughter," Pistone said.
Hager is set to be arraigned in a district court on charges of indecent assault & battery on a person under 14, and an attempt to commit a crime: photographing or electronically surveying a partially nude person.
Police said after the incident, the child and her mother were very upset.
"They're clearly upset, that this happened, but thankfully she was not hurt, she wasn't injured," Pistone said of the little girl.