A man accused of groping two teenage girls on separate occasions at a Walmart store in Palm Desert was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and child annoyance.
Brian John Averett, 45, of Palm Desert is accused of grabbing the buttocks of 16- and 17-year-old girls on July 30 and last Wednesday, respectively, at the Walmart at 34500 Monterey Ave., according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. David Wright.
The first incident occurred just before 5 p.m. while the victim was shopping inside the store. Deputies were summoned to the Walmart but were unable to find the suspect, Wright said.
At 4:18 p.m. last Wednesday, deputies received a similar report involving a 17-year-old victim, and identified Averett as the suspect in both incidents, Wright said.
Averett was arrested around 9 a.m. Friday at an undisclosed Palm Desert business and was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is set to return to court Thursday for a pretrial hearing.