Lighting designer Nikolaos Willmore, 44, was arrested yesterday and charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl inside the midtown JC Penney. Police say Willmore followed the victim around the store in the Manhattan Mall on Saturday afternoon and fondled her. The girl then told her mother, who chased Willmore out of the store.

Police were able to identify Willmore from security footage of the store, and charged him with sex abuse, sexual contact with a child younger than 14 and endangering the welfare of a child. He had been charged from prior arrests last year with assault, aggravated harassment and two counts of criminal mischief.

Willmore says he graduated from Columbia University in 1995 with a PhD. in Chemistry and apparently he still lives in Columbia housing. He now runs a science-inspired lighting design business.