Suspect pleads guilty in Alta Sierra sex assault, faces 8 years |

Suspect pleads guilty in Alta Sierra sex assault, faces 8 years

A sexual assault suspect facing multiple charges has pleaded guilty to one of the counts and is facing a possible eight-year prison sentence.

Ray Anthony Sears, 49, has been in custody since September on a $375,000 bond on felony charges of kidnapping in order to commit rape and oral copulation of an unconscious victim, jail records state.

On Feb. 19, Sears pleaded guilty to one count of oral copulation of an unconscious person and sentencing was set for April 2. The other charge against him will be dropped, court records state.

Sears made an open plea, meaning there was no agreement as to his sentence, Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said.

Walsh said he intends to argue for an eight-year prison sentence, calling this an aggravated case.

Nevada County sheriff’s deputies received a report Sept. 8 of a sexual assault in South County, Sgt. Shane Peltzer said at the time. An investigation was opened and ultimately led to Sears’ arrest in Alta Sierra.

During an October bail hearing in Nevada County Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Helenaz Hill opposed a bail reduction request, noting the victim was not previously known to him, had provided no consent and was traumatized to wake up to the assault.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Ray Sears

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User