Sex Offender Arrested on Attempted Rape Charges

NEW BEDFORD Police have arrested a registered Level 3 sex offender after reportedly stumbling upon an attempted rape.

William H. Fuller, 51, who is homeless, was charged with kidnapping, assault to murder and assault to rape. He will appear for a dangerousness hearing in New Bedford District Court.

Fuller, who has a 1998 conviction for indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, is classified as a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most dangerous and likely to reoffend, according to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry.

A court psychologist said during Fuller’s arraignment in District Court that he has a longstanding history of substance abuse and has been committed twice this year to Bridgewater State Hospital.

Sgt. Matt Rayner, head of the New Bedford Police Department’s juvenile and sexual assault unit, said patrol officers responded to an unrelated disturbance around 3:45 a.m. Saturday in the West End when they heard the alleged victim’s voice.

Rayner declined to release additional details, citing the state’s rape shield laws, but said the responding officers aided the victim at the scene and “prevented things from getting worse.”