A  man who stabbed a woman with a semen-filled syringe at a Maryland grocery store last year has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Thomas Stemen, 52, entered an Alford plea — meaning he maintains his innocence but acknowledges he is likely to be convicted at trial — to first- and second-degree assault in June, the Capital Gazette reported.

Store surveillance video captured the February 18, 2020, incident, showing Stemen following closely behind a woman as she returns a cart inside the store, as CrimeOnline reported. He bumps her and appears to poke her with something. The woman reacts.

At the time Katie Peters, the woman seen in the video, told WJZ that after Stemen bumped into her, she felt something akin to a cigarette burn.

“He turned to me and said, ‘I know it feels like a bee sting, doesn’t it?’” Peters said.

On Tuesday, Judge Stacy McCormick sentenced Stemen to 25 years and suspended all but 10 years on the first-degree assault charge and five years on the second-degree charge. The five-year sentence is to run concurrent with the 10 year sentence, and he’ll have five years of supervised probation upon release.

At his plea hearing in June, prosecutors said Stemen had attempted to attack two other women on the same day, one of whom was a 17-year-old girl.

Stemen was arrested a week after the incident. Detectives found multiple syringes during searches of his home and car, two of them containing an unknown liquid. Lab tests identified the liquid as semen matching Stemen’s DNA.

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[Featured image: Anne Arundel County Police Department]

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