• The 20-year-old man pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual assault by touching of a girl under 13
  • The dance teacher said he had a fetish for legs, prosecutors say
  • He was given a three-year community order and ordered to register as a sex offender for the next five years

A 20-year-old man in Leicestershire, England, followed an 11-year-old girl as she was walking alone to school and sexually assaulted her.

Arvin Odell, who teaches dance to children as young as 5 years old, appeared in Leicester Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to the charge of sexual assault by touching of a girl under 13 in September, Leicestershire Live reported.

Prosecutor Lynsey Knott told the court that the unidentified girl was wearing her school uniform when she walked to school alone in Overpark Avenue, Braunstone, in Leicester on the morning of Sept. 23. At one point, she noticed Odell, who lives in the street, walking behind her, the prosecutor said.

Odell, who is studying at Leicester's De Montfort University, walked behind the girl for a while before crossing to the opposite side of the road. After a moment of hesitation, he crossed back and crouched down before rushing toward the girl and touching the child under her skirt, according to the prosecutor.

"[The victim] described feeling worried and scared and how there was no one else around at the time," Knott said. "He was a dance teacher and taught children and said he had a fetish for legs."

Odell fled to his house in Gooding Avenue, Braunstone, but was arrested later that morning by Leicestershire police. He appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Sept. 24 and pleaded guilty to the sexual assault charge.

Odell spent nearly six weeks in custody, according to his lawyer Anna Soubry.

Judge Mark Watson decided to release Odell from custody and gave him a community order so that he could work with the probation service to prevent further offending.

"I'm worried about this young man. Had the touching been more serious I would be looking at an assessment of dangerousness. She was understandably worried and scared. After all, a strange man had assaulted her in the street. This was clearly sexual," Watson told the court.

"You have a background of working as a dance teacher. Although you have worked with children, there is no suggestion of improper behavior," the judge continued. "Jail would mean no intervention. It would best assist the public by making sure that behavior is not repeated."

Odell was given a three-year community order, with 43 days of sexual offending group work and a further 55 days rehabilitation work with probation.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for the next five years. He has also been banned from being alone with anyone under 16 for the next 10 years as part of a sexual harm prevention order.

The judge warned Odell that he would given a heavier punishment if he repeats his crime in the future.

Odell's lawyer said her client was "riven with remorse and shame and distress" over his crime. She also said Odell had never been in a police station before that day and that being remanded into custody had been "a big shock to him."

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