Accused of inappropriately touching women in stores
by Chris Harris Commonwealth Journal
A Somerset man accused of groping women in local retail establishments appeared in court Wednesday.
According to Pul-aski County Attor-ney Martin Hatfield, the suspect, Robert Aaron Hammonds, 38, waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Hatfield noted that typically when the preliminary hearing is waived, the case goes straight to a grand jury to decide indictment.
Hammonds’ next court date is scheduled for the end of June.
Hammonds was arrested Saturday night after multiple reports had been made of women being inappropriately touched while shopping.
Somerset Police reports allegations by six victims in all after the case first began May 30. That’s when two women initially reported that a man had inappropriately touched them in separate incidents while they were shopping at the T.J. Maxx clothing store, located in the Grand Central Place shopping center.
The suspect allegedly touched both victims in the buttocks area in an action that appeared he was passing by.
Other similar alleged incidents Family Dollar on East Mt. Vernon Street, at Hobby Lobby, located in Grand Central Place shopping center, and at K-Mart along East Ky. 80.
Two of the reported victims were under 12 years old, according to police.
Hammonds was arrested by SPD Officer Randall Smith at a residence on North Ky. 1247 Saturday and s lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center shortly after 12 a.m. Sunday. He was charged on a Pulaski District Court warrant on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of third-degree sexual abuse. First-degree sexual abuse is a felony and third-degree sexual abuse is a misdemeanor.