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Devin Price

Devin Price

HAMMOND — A Hammond man told police he wanted to prove he's "not gay" when he grabbed a woman's buttocks at a local Family Dollar store on March 2, newly filed court records allege. 

Devin Lemere Price, 27, told police he also did the same thing to a random woman at the CVS, 6445 Calumet Ave. in Hammond, about a month ago, records state.

He was charged March 2 with sexual battery in Lake Criminal Court.

The Lake County Prosecutor's Office is seeking the public's help in identifying other women who may have been assaulted by Price, according to a news release. 

Police were dispatched to the Family Dollar at 6431 Columbia Ave. in Hammond at about 8:45 p.m. March 2 to meet with the alleged female victim. She told police a man approached her from behind and grabbed her by the buttocks before fleeing the area in a blue vehicle. 

As they completed a police report at the nearby Walgreens, the woman exclaimed, "There he is!" and pointed to a man, later identified as Price, entering the store. 

Video surveillance confirmed the female victim's account, records state. Price told police he lives with his wife in Blue Island, Illinois, but recently had been staying with his mother at her Hammond apartment to assist her after surgery. 

He said he had been molested as a child by a now-deceased male cousin, records show. He told police thoughts of molestation have been plaguing him, causing him to "doubt his heterosexual orientation." 

"He explained he grabbed this woman by the buttocks to prove to himself that he was not gay," the charging document states. 

Anyone with information about Price should contact Hammond Police Detective Mark Biller at 219-852-2966.

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.