Skip to main content

Harbor City Man Sentenced on Sex Assault, Endangering

By rlsmetro on
Atlantic County

A 60-year-old Egg Harbor City man was sentenced by Judge Donna Taylor today to an aggregate 17 years in New Jersey State Prison for the 1996 aggravated sexual assault and 2003 endangerment of two Atlantic County children.

Atlantic County officials say Brian L. Avis, who had no previous criminal history, pled guilty to the offenses on June 6, 2022.

Avis is also subject to Megan’s Law and Community Supervision for Life.

“In all cases the decision whether to enter into a plea agreement depends on the strength or weakness of the evidence in consultation with the victim. In these cases, however, the State was constrained by the laws that existed at the time of the offense.

Since 1996, the Legislature has greatly enhanced the penalties for sexual offenses involving children. If committed today this defendant would have faced the potential for much more severe consequences.

For more than two decades the victims and their families have waited to know who did this.

They may never know why Brian Avis chose them, but today, at a minimum, they have a degree of closure and a measure of justice,” said Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer who represented the State.

“These cases were considered ‘cold cases’ with little to no leads as to the suspect’s identity,” said Flammer. Detectives from the City of Brigantine and the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit renewed efforts in 2021 utilizing new technologies and investigative methods to develop a suspect culminating in the arrest of Avis for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old Brigantine girl.

Once in custody, Avis’s fingerprints were soon linked to a similar 2003 incident involving a five-year-old girl that occurred in Galloway Township.”

“Today’s sentencing is the result of the diligent detective work by the members of our Cold Case Unit and our law enforcement partners who utilized modern day technology to bring these cases to a successful conclusion,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

“The investigators never wavered in their efforts to achieve this sentence and bring justice to the victims.”

Both victims and family members were present at sentencing. One victim told the Court and Avis that his actions have caused her lifelong emotional trauma. The defendant apologized to both victims.

The cases were investigated by the City of Brigantine and Galloway Township Police Departments, the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.