Suspect arrested for allegedly taking inappropriate photo of girl, 7, in Haverhill grocery store

Photo courtesy of Haverhill Police.
Photo courtesy of Haverhill Police.

Police on Wednesday night arrested a 38-year-old Haverhill man who allegedly stalked a young girl in a supermarket and took an inappropriate cellphone photo of her, authorities said.

About 1 p.m. Monday, the suspect—who police are not yet identifying—followed a woman and her 7-year-old daughter into the Market Basket at Westgate Plaza, authorities said. The man did not have a shopping cart and did not appear to be looking at items, said Lieutenant Robert Pistone of the Haverhill Police Department.

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After about 25 minutes, the mother bent down to look at an item. The man approached the girl and allegedly took a picture up her skirt, Pistone said.

The mother noticed he had approached her child and asked him whether he touched her. He apologized and left the store, Pistone said.

The mother spoke to the store manager, who called police. At first, the mother was not aware a photo had been taken, Pistone said.

Pistone said police received numerous tips as the result of extensive media coverage of the incident. The tips led police to the suspect, who police questioned and then arrested at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Pistone said.

The suspect is being charged with indecent assault and battery on a person under 14, posing a child for a sexual act, and photographing or electronic surveying a partially nude person, Pistone said.

Pistone said police applied for a warrant and expected to search the suspect’s home Wednesday night.

The suspect will be arraigned in Haverhill District Court on Thursday, Pistone said.