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Spicer man faces 18 felonies in Winona County indictment

WINONA — An indictment against a Spicer man for an alleged home break-in and sexual assault in Winona County has been amended to include a total of 18 felonies.

Zane Robert Pederson, 30, was arraigned on the indictment Wednesday in Winona County District Court. His next court appearance will be June 5. He is currently in the Winona County Jail on $2 million bail.

Some of the charges in the indictment carry maximum sentences of life in prison or life without parole. The amended indictment includes 15 felony charges of criminal sexual conduct and three burglary charges.

According to the motion to amend the indictment, the amended charges will allow a jury at trial a wider choice during deliberations based on whether the alleged sexual assaults included heinous acts.

Five of the felonies allege that the criminal sexual conduct was committed with two or more heinous acts. The heinous acts listed are exposing the victim to inhumane conditions, torture or using a dangerous weapon to cause the victim to submit. These charges carry a maximum sentence of life without parole.

Five charges allege the assaults were committed with one heinous act. They carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The other five criminal sexual conduct charges do not include the enhanced penalty for heinous acts and carry maximum penalties of 25 or 30 years.

Each group of five charges includes three first-degree charges of criminal sexual conduct and two second-degree charges.

The three first-degree burglary charges are for entering an occupied building, for using a dangerous weapon and for assaulting a person in the building.

Pederson is accused of breaking into a woman's home Nov. 18, 2018, and raping her.

According to court papers, the woman awoke in the early morning to find a masked man holding a gun standing at the foot of her bed. The man, alleged to be Pederson, reportedly stayed in her home for several hours and raped her three times while her child was in the home. He allegedly threatened the woman's life and her child's life. The woman later found an article of her clothing was missing.

In February, Pederson's DNA was linked to the alleged sexual assault and to another alleged in Kandiyohi County. He had provided his DNA voluntarily during the investigation of the Kandiyohi County case.

Pederson has not yet made a court appearance on the Kandiyohi County case, in which he is accused of sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult living in a group home were Pederson worked.

When authorities executed a search warrant at Pederson's Spicer property, they found clothing similar to that worn by the alleged attacker in Winona and found a piece of clothing alleged to be the item the woman had reported missing from her home.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340
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