In a truly shocking turn of events, a shopper in Columbia County stumbled upon a distressing sight in the detergent aisle of a local Dollar General store, leading to the subsequent arrest of a suspect. What makes this case even more alarming is that it is not the first time the accused individual has faced charges related to indecent exposure.
Michael Scott Stephens, a 28-year-old man, was apprehended by Columbia County deputies on a charge of public indecency, third or subsequent conviction. The victim, a 29-year-old woman, recounted her harrowing experience to the authorities. According to her statement, between 12:50 and 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, while she was shopping at the store located at 5380 Columbia Road, she noticed a man persistently following her.
Feeling unnerved, she sought refuge in the laundry detergent aisle, only to discover that the man had closely trailed behind her. As she turned around, she was confronted by an utterly obscene and lewd act committed by the suspect, who had his private parts exposed. Filled with fear and shock, she screamed, prompting the offender to hastily flee from the store, disappearing towards the Ivy Falls neighborhood.
However, this incident is not an isolated event in Michael Scott Stephens’ criminal history. On Tuesday, he was apprehended once again, and the nature of the charges against him indicate that this is far from his first offense. According to an arrest warrant, on March 3, 2019, Stephens allegedly roamed the aisles of a Walmart situated at 260 Bobby Jones Expressway, brazenly exposing his private parts. During this unsettling act, he even chuckled when one of the four victims made eye contact with him.
It is worth noting that Stephens was already out on bond at that time, facing charges related to two other incidents. One involved the explicit exposure of his sexual organs on June 6, 2018, at the Walmart located at 5010 Steiner Way in Grovetown. The other incident occurred on November 5, 2018, at LuLu’s car wash on 232 Bobby Jones Expressway.
The repeated nature of these offenses and the brazenness with which they were committed are truly cause for concern. As the legal proceedings unfold, it is crucial to ensure the safety and security of the community while holding the perpetrator accountable for his reprehensible actions.