Man classified Tier 3 says he is not a threat |

Man classified Tier 3 says he is not a threat

by F.T. Norton

A Carson City man said he was stunned Friday to read a newspaper article stating he was recently designated as a Tier 3 sex offender – deemed by the state as the most likely to reoffend.

“You figure after 26 years, (the tier level) would go down, not up,” said William Sears, 46. “I never stepped out of bounds or anything. I don’t know why they raised me up to a Tier 3.”

In 1984 as a teen, Sears was convicted of battery with intent to commit sexual assault. Sears denies the incident was sexual in nature. He said he was at a high school party when he was 17 and stumbled into the wrong apartment where he “backhanded a woman and fought with her husband.”

He said he awoke the next morning in the drunk tank and asked deputies what happened.

After sitting in jail for “eight months and 25 days,” Sears said he pleaded to a reduced charge and the judge sentenced him to probation. For the past two decades he’s lived in Carson City, he said, never again accused of a sex-related offense.

But after the Nevada Legislature passed new laws concerning sex offenders in 2007, each offender’s case is reviewed yearly.

During a review of Sears’ case this year, officials found he had a conviction in 1995 of brandishing a weapon and a domestic battery conviction in 2001, said Carson City Sheriff’s Detective Bob Motamenpour.

The two additional offenses changed Sears’ classification, he said.

In early March Sears received a letter that told him he had been reclassified as a Tier 3. The letter informed him he had until March 22 to file an appeal, but he missed the deadline, said Motamenpour.

Sears said he didn’t know what the letter said because he’s blind in one eye and had difficulty reading.

“I thought it said they were reducing my tier level,” said Sears, a father of six.

His sister Aileen Aiello was angry over the change in his status.

“How is he a high-risk sex offender when there was no sex involved?” she asked. “It’s making like he’s a God-awful person and he’s not.

“I want the public to know he’s not out here doing all this.”

Aiello said Sears was so ashamed by the article, prompted by Motamenpour’s duty to notify the public if a Tier 3 offender lives in the community, he missed a doctor’s appointment on Friday where he could have received help with his vision.

“He didn’t want to leave the house,” she said.

Motamenpour said this wasn’t the first time Sears failed to meet a deadline set by the state.

“After the change of the law the state re-evaluates these folks. It’s all up to the state and they decided he needs to be in a different tier,” said Motamenpour.

Currently, Sears is the only person in the city with a Tier 3 designation.

“I expect we’ll have some more as the reclassifications continue,” said Motamenp-our.


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