A man who groped two teenage girls on separate occasions at a Palm Desert Walmart store was sentenced Monday to three years probation and three months in a sheriff’s work release program.
Brian John Averett, 45, of Palm Desert, pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini imposed the sentence stipulated in the plea agreement, which also requires Averett to register as a sex offender.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Averett grabbed the buttocks of 16- and 17-year-old girls at the Walmart at 34500 Monterey Ave.
The first crime occurred just before 5 p.m. July 30 while the 16-year- old victim was shopping inside the store. Deputies were summoned to the Walmart but were unable to find the suspect, Sgt. David Wright said.
Two days later, deputies received a similar report involving a 17-year- old victim, and identified Averett as the suspect in both cases, Wright said.
Averett was arrested later that week at an undisclosed Palm Desert business.