Charges: Accused rapist broke into home, zip-tied and assaulted woman in Winona

The 30-year-old defendant has been charged with 18 felonies.
Publish date:
Zane Robert Pederson

A 30-year-old Spicer man is facing 18 felony charges – 15 for criminal sexual conduct – and is being held in Winona County Jail with bail set at $2 million. 

An amended indictment against Zane Robert Pederson covers a wide range of alleged crimes, including sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and threats of violence. 

According to a criminal complaint, Pederson is accused of breaking into a woman's home in Winona around 1 a.m. Nov. 18, 2018, then approaching her as she slept. The woman awoke to find him standing at the end of her bed in a mask and holding a handgun. 

Police say Pederson zip-tied the woman's hands behind her back, before raping her three times over a five-hour period, placing a handgun by her face during the third assault. The woman's child was in the home the entire time. 

At one point, Pederson allegedly told the woman that "he was a rapist, not a monster," which he claimed to be a joke. 

Pederson is alleged to have threatened to kill both the woman and her child, warning her that "he would hate" to go to her child's school and he "would hate to kill her child," the complaint says. 

Pederson left the woman's home around 6 a.m. the same day. 

On March 6, investigators searched Pederson's home and found articles of clothing belonging the victim, leading to an interview in which Pederson admitted to being in the woman's home the night of the assaults. He said he was using methamphetamine at the time, telling investigators that the sex was consensual and that the victim initiated the first sexual encounter. 

Investigators found DNA samples that matched Pederson from a separate pending sexual assault investigation, which the West Central Tribune reports is a case in which he's accused of sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult at a group home where he worked in Kandiyohi County. 

Five of the felonies Pederson faces are for criminal sexual conduct with at least two heinous acts, which can include creating inhumane conditions, torture or using a dangerous weapon. Five criminal sexual conduct charges allege one heinous act was committed, and five more do not include heinous acts. 

The three other amended charges are for first-degree burglary. 

Next Up

Northern Metals

Firefighters battling large blaze at Northern Metal site in Minneapolis

The fire sent a plume of thick smoke into the skyline.

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 12.10.00 PM

Charges: St. Cloud woman maced, fatally stabbed man in alley

A 36-year-old man was pronounced dead at St. Cloud Hospital 32 minutes after the 911 call was made.


Gasthof's building in Northeast Minneapolis is for sale

The restaurant opened in 1992 and has been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


1 dead in single-vehicle crash in Kandiyohi County

Deaths on Minnesota roads are up approximately 20% from the same point last year.

Irwin Jacobs home

Neighbor sues to block estate from dividing billionaire's Lake Minnetonka property

The estate of Irwin Jacobs wants to build six new homes on the late businessman's property.


In the better burger battle, does Culver's trump In-N-Out?

A website says Culver's is far superior to In-N-Out.

George Floyd mural

Darnella Frazier, who filmed the video of Floyd's arrest, reacts to guilty verdict

Frazier's video challenged the initial narrative of Floyd's arrest presented by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Burnsville police shooting

Man fatally shot by police near I-35W in Burnsville is identified

The suspect killed in the incident is from western Wisconsin.

covid, vaccine

Mayo Clinic opens vaccine appointments to non-patients

After a rush for appointments, other vaccine providers are also reporting more open appointments.


Charges: Serial rapist in Minneapolis targeted women online

The 24 year old was arrested after an alleged attack on March 18.

Michael Walton Hinton

Charges: Man held woman captive, raped, stabbed, and beat her

The man suspected of the crimes has been charged with seven felonies.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

Gideon Erhabor

Ex-Bethel football player charged with raping 3 students

The 21-year-old is accused of the crimes dating back to fall 2018.

Nathan James Homme

Charges: Wisconsin man planned to kidnap Shoreview woman

The 39-year-old man has been charged with two felonies.

President Pimpin Austin

Charges: Man assaulted, raped woman he'd just met inside her car

The 28-year-old from St. Paul has been charged with 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Spearmint Rhino

Charge: Chaska man raped woman at Minneapolis strip club

A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Charges: Oregon businessman raped woman at Twin Cities hotel

It allegedly happened at the DoubleTree hotel on Nov. 30.