Cops: Man Arrested for ’96 Brigantine Child Sex Assault Now Charged in Galloway, NJ
An Egg Harbor City man who has just been charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a child in Brigantine a quarter of a century ago is now facing charges for a similar crime in Galloway that happened in 2003.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill says 59-year-old Brian Lee Avis has now been charged with sexual assault of a juvenile, endangering the welfare of a child, and burglary by Galloway Township Police in connection to an incident that involved a 5-year-old girl in that municipality on July 18, 2003.
These latest charges come as a result of Galloway police being notified by a New Jersey State Police Lab that conducted a fingerprint analysis that just compared Avis' prints with evidence that was collected back then.
In that case, cops in Galloway say,
On July 18, 2003, at 11:43 p.m., Galloway Township Police were dispatched to 457 Willow Ave. for a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, the mother of the juvenile victim advised that she observed a male hastily exiting the home. The mother of the 5 year-old female victim told police that when she encountered her daughter the child’s pajama bottoms were pulled down.
Avis was arrested last week and is facing aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, burglary, and endangering the welfare of child charges in Brigantine. There, according to the New Jersey State Police, on July 19, 1996, officers responded to the report of a sexual assault at a home on East Evans Boulevard. Cops say a man allegedly broke into the residence and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl while she was sleeping.
Following that alleged crime, detectives collected evidence at the scene and obtained a DNA sample of the suspect from the victim’s bed, however, years later, there was no match in a national DNA collection database.
This past January, the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit and the Brigantine Police Department reopened the case and they reanalyzed the DNA sample. Through their work, cops say they identified Avis as the suspect.
Recently, cops located Avis and collected a new DNA sample from the inside of his cheek which, they say, was a positive match to the DNA collected at the crime scene back in 1996.
Avis is currently lodged at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. A detention hearing for both cases is scheduled for Monday, September 27th.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.