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EHC man indicted in sexual assaults of girls in 1996, 2003

An Egg Harbor City man charged in sexual assaults of minor girls seven years apart was indicted Tuesday, the Atlantic County prosecutor said.
Brian Lee Avis, 59, was first arrested this year, after DNA tied him to the 1996 sexual assault of a then-10-year-old Brigantine girl inside her bedroom.
But while Avis sat an Atlantic County jail cell, the investigation continued, and he was additionally charged in the 2003 sexual assault of a 5-year-old in Galloway Township. A fingerprint taken from the girl’s bedroom window matched, according to the affidavit previously obtained by BreakingAC.
He now has been indicted in charges of aggravated sexual assault of a victim younger than 13, attempted aggravated sexual assault of a victim younger than 13, and two counts each of sexual assault of a victim younger than 13, endangering-sexual conduct with a child and burglary-entering a structure to inflict/attempt to inflict bodily injury, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill said.
It is not clear if more charges will follow.
The 1996 case was one of more than a dozen reports in the town over the summers of 1995 and 1996, including attempted sexual assaults of two teenage girls, and several other reports of voyeuristic behavior. But news articles from that time show the incidents were not made public until after the suspect succeeded in getting inside a home and committing an assault.
The cases had seemed dead until this past January, Brigantine Detective Sgt. Jack Glasser identified this as a case that could be solved with current DNA technology, Police Chief Rich Casamento said.
Just days after the 25th anniversary of the attack, detectives submitted the DNA to a private laboratory for analysis.
The laboratory conducted Microarray Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms testing for IGG analysis in an attempt to identify genetic relatives.
A warrant for Avis’ DNA led to his arrest.
Avis remains in the Atlantic County Justice Facility.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant John Glasser of the Brigantine Police Department at (609)266-7600 ext. 276 or Detective Sgt. First Class Joseph Itri of the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit at (833) 4NJ-COLD. Anonymous tips are welcome.

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