Virginia Man Free After Repeated Offenses Against Women - NBC4 Washington

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Virginia Man Free After Repeated Offenses Against Women

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    A Northern Virginia man who has pleaded guilty to repeatedly taking "upskirt" photos, exposing himself and squirting semen from a bottle onto women in stores is out of jail.

    Michael Wayne Edwards was sentenced on Friday for his crimes. But the term he was given -- 12 months with all but four months suspended -- allowed him to go free because he spent months in jail before the hearing.

    Edwards was arrested last September on charges he tried to take photos up the skirts of female shoppers at a Safeway store on South Lakes Drive in Reston, Virginia. He also was charged with exposing himself to one victim.

    Prosecutors told the judge that Edwards -- who was working as a personal trainer at Fusion 360, a gym near the Safeway -- could be seen on surveillance video trailing female shoppers through the grocery store's aisles, using his cellphone to take "upskirt" photos.

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    He followed one victim into the parking lot, asked her "Have you seen this?" and then exposed himself, she told police.

    In Fairfax County General District Court in January, Edwards pleaded no contest to two counts of unlawful filming and one count of indecent exposure. But when the judge sentenced him to 18 months in jail, Edwards reversed course and opted to appeal the case to Circuit Court. The judge accepted Edwards' request to remain free on an appeal bond.

    Then, he pleaded guilty in May. 

    Edwards previously confessed to other attacks on women. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to squirting semen on one woman in a Giant grocery store and another woman at a Michael's craft store, both in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 2010.

    He was sentenced with three years in prison but received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation.

    At the time, his lawyer said he was a church-goer who would see a therapist.

    Edwards will be listed on the sex offender registry, and he will undergo a sex offender evaluation.