Police say Stephen Hager, 38, spent about 20 minutes stalking the girl and her mother inside a Market Basket Monday afternoon before approaching her.
“He gets close enough when the mother’s attention is drawn away and he leaned down and appears he took his cell phone and snapped a picture with the cell phone underneath the 7-year-old’s skirt,” Police Lt. Robert Pistone said Wednesday.
The mother reported the incident to store management, who called police.
Investigators received numerous tips after they released surveillance images and video of the man looking for help tracking him down.
Prosecutors say they went to Hager’s house, where his brother and mother both positively identified that it was him on the video.
Hager was arrested Wednesday.
He was 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.
Detectives planned to execute a search warrant at his home.
In court, prosecutors told the judge that Hager admitted to the crime and to having done it before. He allegedly deleted the photos on his way to meet with police.
He’s being held on $10,000 cash bail. If he posts bail, he’ll be required to wear a GPS bracelet and will not be allowed to use internet or have contact with children.