FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - A 62-year-old man has been charged after allegedly masturbating in front of children at the Minnesota State Fair, and grabbing a woman's buttocks under her shorts.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman told police she was watching chickens hatch in the Miracle of Birth Center on Monday with her son and her nephew, both under 5 years old. The woman said a man reached into her shorts from behind and squeezed her buttocks. When she turned around, she told police the man lifted his shirt, exposing his penis, while he stroked it.
The woman said she screamed at the top of her lungs, "That man has his penis out," and the man then fled.
A fair employee also told police that a man who fit the same description was masturbating in front of her and four children, also in the Miracle of Birth Center.
When police found the suspect, identified as Jeffrey Thomas Pendzimas, he was being chased into the Coliseum by another man. Another person directed police to Pendzimas, saying, "That's the guy right there! Get him!"
Officers arrested Pendzimas and he denied the allegations.
On Tuesday, he was charged with 5th degree nonconsensual sexual contact, and 5th degree lewd exhibition in the presence of a minor under 16 years old, both felonies.
Pendzimas has a history of criminal sexual conduct convictions.
In 2012, he was sentenced for felony indecent exposure for masturbating in the presence of two teenage girls.
He has seven prior convictions for indecent exposure, one for 5th degree criminal sexual conduct, and one for felony-level interference with privacy of a minor. He was also arrested for indecent exposure in 1979, but was convicted of disorderly conduct.