A 60-year-old Egg Harbor City man has been sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison for sexually assaulting and molesting two young children in separate home break-ins decades ago.

Brian L. Avis must serve 12 years for the aggravated sexual assault and five years for endangering the welfare of a child by sexual conduct, one term after another.

He previously pleaded guilty to the charges on June 6.

Last year, detectives from the Brigantine Police Department and the State Police Cold Case Unit took on the cold case of a 10-year-old girl’s sexual assault in July 1996 in her family home.

Using new technologies, a more complete DNA sample was generated, ultimately leading to the September 2021 arrest of Avis, who had no previous criminal history.

Once in custody, his fingerprints were then linked to the 2003 incident involving a five-year-old girl in Galloway Township.

Brian L. Avis was arrested in September 2021 (ACPO)
Brian L. Avis was arrested in September 2021 (ACPO)

Avis broke into homes in the middle of the night in both cases.

During the 1996 attack, the 10-year-old girl woke up and he fled.

In the 2003 incident, the mother of the young girl victim had seen a man rushing from the home - when she went to check on her 5-year-old daughter, the child’s pajama bottoms were pulled down, prosecutors previously said.

In addition to his prison sentences, Avis is also subject to Megan’s Law and community supervision for life.

Both victims and family members were present at Avis’ sentencing.

One of the victims spoke in court, saying that Avis’ actions have caused her lifelong emotional trauma.

He apologized to both victims at his sentencing.

In both cases, the state was limited by the laws that existed at the time of the offense.

“If committed today this defendant would have faced the potential for much more severe consequences,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer said in a written statement.

He continued “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.”

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

What would happen to NJ if we were attacked by nuclear weapons?

We used NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein to see what would happen if a nuclear warhead hit New York, Philadelphia, Washington or New Jersey.

The models show what would happen in aerial detonation, meaning the bomb would be set off in the sky, causing considerable damage to structures and people below; or what would happen in a ground detonation, which would have the alarming result of nuclear fallout. The models do not take into account the number of casualties that would result from fallout.

LOOK: What are the odds that these 50 totally random events will happen to you?

Stacker took the guesswork out of 50 random events to determine just how likely they are to actually happen. They sourced their information from government statistics, scientific articles, and other primary documents. Keep reading to find out why expectant parents shouldn't count on due dates -- and why you should be more worried about dying on your birthday than living to 100 years old.

Here's where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, with close to two dozen state approvals given since the first adult recreational sales in the state back in April. Here is where the open sites are located.

New Jersey's license plate designs through the years

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM