A 32-year-old man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for invading the southeastern Minnesota home of a woman who knew him and repeatedly raping her while trying to conceal his identity behind a mask.
Zane R. Pederson of Spicer, Minn., was sentenced in Winona County District Court last week after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the many hours of terror the woman endured in her St. Charles home one night more than two years ago with her child in a nearby room.
Judge Mary Leahy imposed a term of nearly 21 years on Pederson. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Pederson will serve just shy of 12 years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
In exchange for his guilty plea, 17 other counts related to the rape case were dismissed.
The woman did not know the identity of the attacker at the time, because he wore a mask and disguised his voice, according to the criminal complaint.
This was a "person known to our victim, but we can't give out more detail than that" in order to protect her identity, sheriff's investigator Mark Dungy said during a news conference held 3½ months after the attack, when Pederson was arrested and charged.
Pederson allegedly tied the woman's hands behind her back at times over the five-plus hours he was in the home and threatened to kill her and her child.
About a month after terrorizing the woman, Pederson sexually assaulted a male client at a disability care center where he worked in Willmar, Minn., according to criminal sexual conduct charges filed in connection with the Christmas Day incident. Two days later, Pederson denied sexually assaulting the man. The case is pending.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482