Steve LaMar, father of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar, 15, released a statement Wednesday morning to address the reports of his registration as a sex offender for lewd and lascivious acts with a 14-year-old girl.
LaMar says his criminal past has nothing to do with his daughter's disappearance and he asks that the media shift the focus away from him and back to the investigation.
He opened the written statement, which he sent via email around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, by saying: "I am releasing this statement to address a recent report that I am a registered sex offender. This report is true."
The Dispatch reported about Steve's past online Tuesday morning.
LaMar said that he anticipated that this "unfortunate piece of my background might surface in the media. I immediately disclosed this history to the police on the very first day of the investigation into my daughter's disappearance, in the interest of openness, truthfulness and cooperation."
"I understand the stigma associated with this in my background, and I assure everyone it is not connected in any way to my daughter's disappearance. I ask that you please not shift the focus away from the investigation and from finding Sieraa. I also ask that you please not let my past shape your opinion of Sierra or anyone in our family."
"Please understand that I am a dad, and I want nothing more than to find my missing daughter."
He goes onto write that his family is working closely with law enforcement and will do so until "we can conclude the investigation."
"We want to thank law enforcement, the media, and the community for all of the help and support they have given so far."