Brian McSee sentencing

Brian McSee was sentenced Friday to five years in the Avenel Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center by Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor. He must also register under Megan's Law.

MAYS LANDING — A former choir director who sexually assaulted a student he taught at Port Republic Elementary School said he takes “ownership” and “responsibility” for his actions, and apologized to his family, church, school and the victim before his sentencing Friday in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Brian McSee, 53, who pleaded guilty in March to second-degree endangering the welfare of a child by sexual conduct, was sentenced to five years in the Avenel Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center by Judge Donna M. Taylor.

He must also register as a sex offender and will be under parole supervision for life.

In addition, Taylor granted the state’s motion for a sex offender restraining order, prohibiting McSee from having contact with his victim, identified in the court only as “L.M.,” a student he assaulted twice a week for more than three years.

McSee was brought into the courtroom, shackled in an orange jumpsuit and holding a book, for his sentencing. His voice remained even while giving his statement before Taylor, his hands clasped in front of him.

“I take ownership and responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I am saddened and pained that I caught up all the people in the wake of my wrongdoing.”

He said he was “deeply sorry for” before punctuating his statement with a long pause, “any hurt that I may have caused L.M., my church, schools and my family.”

Angela Hartman, McSee’s attorney, said her client had been cooperative with police, including turning himself in.

“He’s been a productive member of the inmate population, participating and leading prayer groups and choirs,” she said.

Hartman argued for McSee to be sentenced a degree lower, which Taylor denied.

Assistant Prosector Erika Halayko cited McSee’s Avenel evaluation, completed in June, which states that McSee’s behavior is “repetitive” and “compulsive.”

“The role of a teacher is a very special position in society,” Halayko said. “To educate, to instill knowledge onto students. That’s a position that someone is afforded public trust.”

“However, this defendant violated that public’s trust,” she said.

Hartman had no comment after the sentencing.

McSee has been in jail since Dec. 13, when he turned himself in on charges of aggravated sexual assault, official misconduct, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.

McSee was also the choir director at Port Republic’s St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and a part-time teacher at Atlantic Christian School in Egg Harbor Township, in addition to his role at the Port Republic school.

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Contact: 609-272-7241 Twitter @ACPressMollyB

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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