TRENTON — A man who inappropriately touched several people, including young children across the city, is now in custody, according to police.

Carlton Francis, 31, was arrested at the end of last month after an investigation into alleged groping incidents in both the east and west sectors of the city. Trenton police said most of the incidents involved girls, including one incident where Francis exposed himself to three girls.

Police were able to recover a video of one of the alleged incidents on Kent Street in September. They were unable to identify a suspect in the video until this year.

A second video of an incident was found by police on Jan. 30 showing a vehicle driven by the suspect in an incident. Police surveillance eventually pointed them to Francis, officials say.

Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. said city residents "deserve the right to walk about freely without fearing for their safety and wellbeing."

"Thanks to the hard work, endless hours and dedication of all the officers involved in the investigation of these heinous acts, the citizens of this city will no longer have to fear Carlton Francis," Parrey said.

Francis has been charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual contact, six counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of harassment and one count of possession of marijuana under 50 grams. Francis was found with a "small amount of marijuana" at the time of his arrest, police said.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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