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Man ejaculated on food while employed at Fort Collins Safeway, police chief says

Grocery Store Merger Lawsuit
Posted at 5:04 PM, Mar 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 12:50:32-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Fort Collins man currently facing 14 counts of indecent exposure is under investigation for allegedly ejaculating on food while he was an employee at Safeway.

Fort Collins Police Services said the investigation began in July 2023 when the department received multiple reports of a person who was masturbating outside businesses in view of employees. Fort Collins police said many of the incidents happened at coffee shops. In at least one case, the victim was a juvenile, according to the department.

Investigators identified Stephen Masalta, 32, as the suspect. Authorities executed a search warrant at his home in February.

Masalta was arrested for 14 counts of indecent exposure (Class 1 misdemeanor) and booked into the Larimer County Jail.


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In an update posted to the department's YouTube channel Thursday, Chief Jeff Swoboda said "multiple pieces of evidence" were collected during the February search.

Swoboda said investigators found videos that showed Masalta masturbating and ejaculating on multiple food items at a Safeway grocery store where he was employed. The police chief said Masalta worked at the Safeway located at 1426 East Harmony Road from December 2023 to February 2024.

Swoboda said the food was not commercially sealed.

Investigators still have "many more videos to go through" but the department believes there are "multiple victims and we have multiple felony charges against Mr. Masalta," Swoboda said during Thursday's update.

The police chief said he will keep the community up-to-date as the investigation continues.

In total, Masalta faces the following charges:

  • Indecent exposure (misdemeanor) - 14 counts
  • Attempted indecent exposure (misdemeanor) - 2 counts
  • Attempted unlawful sexual contact (misdemeanor) - 4 counts
  • Attempted sexual assault on a child (felony) - 16 counts

In a statement, a Safeway spokesperson said the company is "deeply concerned about the allegations" and is working with both police and the health department.

"At Safeway, the safety of our customers and associates is our top priority. We are deeply concerned about the allegations against the former associate, and we are cooperating with the Fort Collins Police and the Health Department in the ongoing investigation of this incident."

As of the publication of this article, Masalta remains in custody at the Larimer County Jail on a $35,000 cash/ surety bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Anyone with information about Masalta is asked to call the department's tipline at 970-416-2825.

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