Sex offender admits to molesting girl in Jurupa Valley store
RIVERSIDE — A convicted sex offender who molested a girl in a Jurupa Valley store while her mother’s head was turned pleaded guilty Wednesday to lewd acts on a child and possession of child pornography.
Orion C. Hitches
Orion Charles Hitches, 34, of Jurupa Valley admitted the felony counts during a pretrial hearing at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
In exchange for Hitches’ admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped two related lewd acts allegations.
A Superior Court judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Jan. 26 and indicated that he would impose the negotiated sentence of 17 years to life in state prison.
Hitches has acted as his own attorney for nearly two years. He’s being held in lieu of $4 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
According to sheriff’s detectives, Hitches came into contact with the 10-year-old victim, whose name was not released, on the afternoon of Sept. 26, 2015, while inside a supermarket in the 7800 block of Limonite Avenue.
Investigators said Hitches sidled up next to the child as her mother was browsing shelves and grabbed her crotch, groping her several times in the moments that her mother was distracted.
The victim immediately revealed to her mother what had happened as Hitches walked out of the store, prompting calls to 911.
Investigators relied on store security camera video to corroborate the child’s allegations and ascertain the defendant’s identity.
Sheriff’s officials alleged the ex-convict detached his ankle-mounted GPS monitoring device that was installed under the terms of his parole, enabling him to conceal his whereabouts for a brief period of time.
Hitches was arrested without a struggle at his Archer Street residence within hours.
Pornographic pictures and video depicting children in sexual acts were seized from the location.
According to court records, Hitches has prior convictions for forcible lewd acts on a child, forcible […]