New charges filed against school counselor previously charged with lewdness

54-year-old William "Sterling" Peterson had worked at Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, Nevada since at least 2009. In August 2020 he found himself answering two two charges of lewdness against a minor under the age of 14 due to comments he reportedly made to a child in online chat rooms and molestation.


At the time of those charges, the school's principal, Kevin McPartlin issued a statement to parents letting them know that "This incident does not appear to be related to his work duties with the district and does not involve contact with students at our school."


He was given one year of probation as a part of a plea deal for those charges.


Now however, a new victim has come forward, this one a student from the school that said Peterson raped her in his office at the school.


Peterson is once more behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center, this time facing charges including sexual assault on a child under the age of 16, battery to commit sexual assault on a victim over 16, kidnapping of a minor and a school employee in a position of authority engaging in sexual conduct with a pupil. His preliminary hearing on the new charges is scheduled for April 7.


A hearing for the revocation of his probation for violation of the conditions of his suspended sentence is scheduled for April 6. The conditions for his suspended sentence included participation in a counseling program and compliance with a set curfew.


After learning of the charges filed against Peterson in August, the girl came forward to investigators stating that in February 2019 he had called her out of class in order to assist her with an online credit-retrieval curriculum as she needed to make up some credits.


She told investigators that Peterson was not her assigned school counselor but was known to her because he was a seminary instructor at the church she attended.


According to her account, once he had set up the account for her, he closed the door to his office and hugged her. She pushed him away to which he allegedly threatened to break her arm if she did so ever again. She told investigators that she "froze in fear" and that he sexually assaulted her in his office before writing her a "tardy note for her next class."