Man charged for allegedly exposing himself, groping woman, at State Fair

An Isanti man was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly exposing himself to fairgoers and groping a woman Aug. 28 at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights.

Jeffery Thomas Pendzimas, 62, was charged Aug 29 for allegedly exposing his penis and masturbating in front of women and children, and reaching up a woman’s shorts, in two separate incidents in the Miracle of Birth Center at the fair.

A bystander chased Pendzimas into the coliseum on the fairgrounds where he was arrested by police.

According to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, Pendzimas has been convicted of indecent exposure seven times; four of them were felony convictions. His first arrest for indecent exposure dates to 1979, though in that case he was convicted of disorderly conduct.

 

One of Pendzimas’ felony indecent exposure convictions was for masturbating in the presence of two teenage girls, according to the county attorney’s office. He also has a previous conviction for fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Pendzimas’ first appearance in Ramsey County District Court was Aug. 30. His next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

The maximum penalty for fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct is five years, a  $10,000 fine or both.

 

Separate incidents

According to court documents, a police officer was alerted to Pendzimas’ alleged actions around 2 p.m. Aug. 28 by a person who said, “Some guy is showing his dick to people.” The person told the officer the man had been chased into the coliseum.

The person identified Pendzimas to the officer, who grabbed Pendzimas. As officers identified Pendzimas, a call came over the radio about a man exposing himself in the Miracle of Birth Center who fit Pendzimas’ description.

Police spoke to a 31-year-old woman who was in the center with her 2-year-old son and 4-year-old nephew, according to court documents. She told officers she felt someone reach up her shorts and squeeze her buttocks; when she turned around to see who it was, she alleged it was Pendzimas. 

The woman told officers Pendzimas then allegedly lifted his shirt, exposing his penis, and began masturbating

The woman told officers she yelled, “What are you doing? That man has his penis out!” According to court documents, the woman told police Pendzimas then allegedly turned and fled.

The woman and another witness later identified Pendzimas to police. 

Officers interviewed a State Fair employee Aug. 29 who had been in the Miracle of Birth Center the day prior with a mother who had four young children with her. The employee told police that she too, along with the mother and children, in a separate incident, were approached by Pendzimas, who allegedly masturbated in front of them.

Upon his arrest, Pendzimas told officers he’d done nothing wrong and didn’t know why he’d been arrested. He denied grabbing the woman’s buttocks and denied masturbating in front of people.

When asked, according to court documents, Pendzimas said he didn’t know what he was doing in the Miracle of Birth Center.

 

— Mike Munzenrider

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