JURUPA VALLEY (CBSLA.com) – A convicted sex offender is back behind bars after being accused of groping a girl at a Jurupa Valley store over the weekend.
Orion Charles Hitches, 32, of Jurupa Valley is held on $1 million bail at Robert Presley Detention Center after being booked on three counts of child molestation-related charges.
The crime happened in the toys aisle at the Kmart in the 7800 block of Limonite Avenue about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The girl was shopping with her mother and grandmother at the time.
“She said to my mom that guy touched my butt three times,” the mother of the 9-year-old victim said.
“First time that he did was nothing that wouldn’t have been any big deal. Anybody could have brushed up against her, and she wouldn’t have thought anything of it,” the mother said. “But the second time when he actually grabbed her was when she thought that was not right.”
After calling 911, the mother spotted the suspect in the baby aisle. “When we walked back, I also told the police there are other kids on that aisle with him. There was another family there,” she said.
Hitches, who was on parole, then ran out of the store. Investigators said he tried to remove the electronic monitoring device on his ankle but was unsuccessful.
They eventually tracked him down at his house in the 6500 block of Archer Street in Jurupa Valley a short time later and arrested him.
Hitches has a long rap sheet, including raping a child under 3 years old.
The victim’s mother said: “This guy is a sick, sick man.” She said there was a lesson to be learned. “If you can’t prevent it from happening, then make sure your kid knows to tell you as soon as it happens because that’s your best chance of getting ahold of them.
“If someone’s going to do, they’ll go to any length to get a hold of your child. It doesn’t matter if you’re holding their hand,” said the mother.
She said she always makes sure her daughter is close to her when they are out shopping.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is reminding parents to always keep their young children in sight while visiting any public area where strangers are present.