A gunman donned a mask and invaded the southeastern Minnesota home of a woman he knew and repeatedly raped her while trying to conceal his identity from her, according to charges filed Wednesday.
Zane R. Pederson, 30, of Spicer, Minn., was charged in Winona County District Court with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment and threats of violence in connection with the many hours of terror the woman endured in her St. Charles home in the middle of the night with her child in a nearby room.
Two days after the Nov. 18 rape, police released a description of a suspect and cautioned the public to keep doors and windows secure. Eventually, biological and other physical evidence collected by investigators pointed them to Pederson, including DNA from his sperm on the woman and DNA on a firearm she kept in the home, according to the criminal complaint.
Pederson was arrested in Kandiyohi County on Monday without incident, roughly 3½ months later. He appeared in court Wednesday and remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
While the woman did not know the identity of her attacker during the series of rapes, "this is a person known to our victim, but we can't give out more detail than that" in order to protect her identity, Winona County sheriff's investigator Mark Dungy said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The complaint included several points to support the woman and Pederson having known each other, including that he "disguised his voice and asked the victim if she recognized him or his voice," and his explanation that he was in the home intending to steal digital photos from her computer or telephone.
Also, the woman later learned she was missing a piece of clothing she had been wearing before being raped, the charging document added.
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.
At one point, the charges said, he told the woman jokingly that he was a rapist but "not a monster" and "had been waiting years to do this." The charges also allege that Pederson sneaked into the home the previous two nights.
A law enforcement search of Pederson's home turned up the woman's missing garment and a loaded gun.
The complaint added that Pederson is the subject of another unspecified sex-crime investigation elsewhere in the state.
Otherwise, Pederson's criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for a hunting-related firearms offense, animal cruelty and theft.