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Serial groper arrested in south Forsyth
Wanted for attacking women at tanning salon, The Collection, Publix
Stephen-Lyon WEB

SOUTH FORSYTH -- A south Forsyth man suspected of assaulting three women on separate occasions in an attempt to grope them has been arrested, authorities said.

Stephen Lyon, 26, was charged with felony aggravated assault with attempt to rape and misdemeanor simple battery on June 17 in connection with three incidents this year, according to Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier that day, he reportedly approached a woman at the Publix on Mathis Airport Parkway off the intersection with Old Atlanta and Sharon roads.

Rodriguez said she reported a man grabbed her around her body and tried to pull her shirt off as she attempted to pull away.

A rumor that spread on social media claiming the incident was an attempted abduction was unfounded, Rodriguez said.

“None of these women felt as if he was trying to abduct them,” he said.

Information given from the Publix incident led investigators to a Feb. 25 case where a man was wanted for trying to grope a woman in a tanning parlor in south Forsyth.

The suspect reportedly entered the store about 5 p.m. that day and asked the woman at the front desk about information regarding a subscription for his wife, Rodriguez said.

He reportedly groped her when they were in one of the rooms as she showed him around the business.

Rodriguez said at the time that stranger-on-stranger crimes are rare in Forsyth County and that this man was acting alone.

Lyon is also the suspect in a June 14 incident, where he is accused of trying to rip a woman’s dress strap at The Collection at Forsyth, leaving “visible marks” on her shoulder and arm.

He remains detained in the Forsyth County Jail without bond, Rodriguez said.

Previous history includes driving under the influence and drug charges.

Rodriguez said all three women who were attacked responded correctly by screaming for help, which caused him to run away each time.

“They didn’t try to run after him and catch him, and [they] called 911,” he said, “which was the right thing to do.”