An aquatic therapy specialist is coming to the defense of a man accused of indecent exposure at a Lodi health club. Robin Van Nes said she has been working with Vernon Theodore Steman for years and that the 72-year-old former Stockton firefighter was conducting exercises related to his physical therapy when a citizen called the police Tuesday evening.
"He was injured on the job in 1991 and has to do Warm Water Therapy Exercises like pelvic thrusts and pelvic tilts in order to have a pain-free range of motion," she said. "But he wasn't there at his normal time of day, and I can understand how someone who isn't familiar with the exercises could consider it something else."
The exercises also help with Steman's muscle contraction and weakness, Van Nes said. He suffers from herniated discs, muscle atrophy, Sciatica and other conditions, she said.
Steman has been a member at Twin Arbors Athletic Club for about six years and began exercising there after Easter Seals closed down, Van Nes said. The pool Steman was in is designed for warm water therapy exercies, she said.
Van Nes filed a police report that has been entered into evidence and would be considered by a judge if Steman were to appear in court, said Sgt. Fernando Martinez of the Lodi Police Department. No court date for Steman is currently listed on the San Joaquin County Superior Court's website.
Steman was arrested shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday when a gym member at the Twin Arbors Athletic Club on South Hutchins Street reported that he was stimulating himself with the indoor pool's jets. Steman has been a member of Twin Arbors for about six years and usually does his exercises in the early afternoon with plenty of witnesses in the area, Van Nes said.
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