Zane Pederson, already in prison, facing more charges in Kandiyohi, Hennepin counties

Linda Vanderwerf, West Central Tribune, Willmar, Minn.
·3 min read

Apr. 23—WILLMAR — A Spicer man sentenced to prison last winter for a home invasion and rape in Winona County still faces a slew of felony charges in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Zane Robert Pederson, 32, was sentenced on burglary and first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges in connection with a home invasion and rape in Winona County.

The current charges include third-degree criminal sexual conduct and criminal sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult in a Kandiyohi County incident in December 2018.

In a second Kandiyohi County case, he faces nine felony charges of firearm theft, which allegedly occurred in December 2017.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin June 8.

Pederson is accused of a sexual assault against a man who lived in a group home where Pederson worked in Willmar.

According to court records, Pederson had talked with the man about his sex life on Christmas night. After the man said he'd never had sex, Pederson showed him pornography on the computer. He then allegedly pulled down the man's pants and sexually assaulted him.

The man reported the assault the next day. Pederson allegedly told Willmar police that the man had grabbed him, he told him to stop and nothing more happened. When he was asked if his DNA would be on the man's penis, Pederson said it shouldn't be and agreed to provide a sample.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension analyzed the DNA sample in early 2019.

According to court records, the DNA sample tied Pederson to both the Winona County and Kandiyohi County cases of sexual assault.

Pederson is also accused of stealing nine firearms from a Kandiyohi County home. The homeowner had reported the firearms stolen from his garage in December 2017. He provided descriptions and serial numbers of a number of firearms.

When authorities searched Pederson's home in 2019, according to court records, his wife asked them to remove his numerous firearms, too, as she didn't know their origins or if they were related to criminal activity.

Nine of the guns were identified as those stolen in December 2017.

The homeowner who reported the firearms theft told investigators that Pederson had done some work in the home and had been unhappy with his pay, feeling he should have been paid more.

Pederson was sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to breaking into a Winona County home in the night and terrorizing a woman for several hours.

According to court records, the woman awoke to find a masked man standing at the foot of her bed holding a gun. He raped her repeatedly over several hours and threatened her life and the life of her child who was sleeping in the house.

Pederson is expected to serve at least 12 years of a nearly 21-year prison sentence. State law requires a person to serve at least two-thirds of a sentence in custody, and the rest may be served on supervised release. He will also receive credit for nearly two years he spent in jail after his arrest.

In Hennepin County, Pederson also faces gross misdemeanor charges of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and using a surreptitious device to interfere with the privacy of a home, plus two misdemeanor theft charges.

Pederson is accused of placing a hidden camera in a bedroom and a bathroom in a Minnetonka home. Pederson had remodeled a bathroom in the home in early 2018 and had also updated an iPad belonging to the homeowners.

Pederson is alleged to have saved photos of the woman undressing and a video of the couple having sex on his cell phone. The images were found when authorities searched his Kandiyohi County home in 2019.

Also found in Pederson's home were blank checks bearing the couple's names, the woman's Social Security card and checks and documents belonging to other people.

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